synthesis

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synthesis

1. the process of producing a compound by a chemical reaction or series of reactions, usually from simpler or commonly available starting materials
2. Philosophy archaic synthetic reasoning
3. Philosophy
a. (in the writings of Kant) the unification of one concept with another not contained in it
b. the final stage in the Hegelian dialectic, that resolves the contradiction between thesis and antithesis

Synthesis

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Synthesis refers to the final stage in horoscope interpretation, when the astrologer weaves the many particular influences into a coherent whole. The ability to meaningfully synthesize astrological information rather than to simply list the interpretations of each individual component of a chart is the mark of an experienced astrologer.

Synthesis

 

the combination of various elements and aspects of an object so as to form a whole (system), a process carried on in both everyday activity and cognition. In this sense, synthesis and analysis are opposite, but inextricably linked, concepts, each complementing the other and each being realized through the other. In modern science, the term “synthesis” is also used in several specific senses. Thus, “synthesis” refers to reasoning that proceeds, step by step, from what has been demonstrated to what is to be demonstrated; analysis, by contrast, proceeds from what can be demonstrated to what has already been demonstrated. A similar concept of synthesis and analysis, found in the classical philosophers and geometers, such as Plato, Euclid, and Pappus of Alexandria, is propounded, for example, by J. Hintikka of Finland. In yet another sense, “synthesis” is related to “synthetic judgments” (seeLOGICAL SEMANTICS).

Synthesis and analysis not only underlie all types of human activity but also, in their elementary forms, determine the behavior of the higher animals; in various technical applications, they are used in computer programs, artificial self-organizing systems, and the like. The synthetic and analytic activity of the human brain is the physiological basis of human behavior. As a mental operation, synthesis derives from the objective combination of the parts of various objects so as to form a whole; historically, it has been intertwined with human social and productive activity. The laws by which objective synthetic actions are transformed into psychic synthetic operations (internalization) have been studied by psychologists, for example, by J. Piaget, S. L. Rubinshtein, and A. N. Leont’ev.

As a cognitive operation, synthesis takes many different forms. Any process of concept formation rests ultimately on the unity of synthesis and analysis. Empirical data obtained from the study of any given object are synthesized as they are given theoretical generalization. In theoretical scientific knowledge, synthesis is manifested in the interdependence, on the basis of the correlative principle, of theories related to a single objective realm: manifested, that is, in the union of competing and, in some respects opposed, theories, for example, in contemporary physics the synthesis of the particle and wave theories. Synthesis is also manifested in, among others, the formulation of deductive theories, such as axiomatic theories and hypothetical-deductive theories. Synthesis is manifested in the dialectical method of ascending from the abstract to the concrete, as a means of formulating a theoretical knowledge of complex and ever-evolving objects: the concrete knowledge so obtained from the object studied is synthesis, the unity of the object’s diverse abstract definitions.

Contemporary science is characterized by synthesis not only within individual scientific disciplines but also between the various disciplines, in what is known as interdisciplinary synthesis. Synthesis has been of great importance in the emergence of biophysics, biochemistry, econometrics, and other interdisciplinary fields. Contemporary science is also characterized by synthesis between the fundamental realms of scientific and technical knowledge: the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the technical sciences. The 20th century has witnessed the emergence of several integrative sciences—for example, cybernetics—in which data on the structural properties of the various disciplines’ objects of study are synthesized. Research on the techniques of synthesizing scientific knowledge is essential to achieving the unity of science. In this respect, dialectical materialism proceeds from the diversity of forms of scientific and technical knowledge, a diversity united during cognition on the basis of a synthesis of the methodological means, concepts, and principles proper to the respective fields of knowledge.

REFERENCES

Marx, K., and F. Engels. Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 20.
Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vols. 18, 29.
‘Mamardashvili, M. K. “Protsessy analiza i sinteza.” Voprosy filosofii, 1958, no. 2.
Il’enkov, E. V. Dialektika abstraktnogo i konkretnogo v “Kapitale” Marksa. Moscow, 1960.
Kedrov. B. M. Klassifikatsiianauk, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1961–65.
Gorskii, D. P. Problemy obshchei metodologii nauk i dialekticheskoi logiki. Moscow, 1966.
Sintez sovremennogo nauchnogo znaniia. Moscow, 1973.
Bunge, M. Scientific Research, vols. 1–2. Boston, 1967.

V. N. SADOVSKII

synthesis

[′sin·thə·səs]
(chemistry)
Any process or reaction for building up a complex compound by the union of simpler compounds or elements.
(control systems)

synthesis

(programming, specification)
The process of deriving (efficient) programs from (clear) specifications.

See also program transformation.

synthesis

A combination, derivation or compilation. See logic synthesis.
References in periodicals archive ?
As a potential synthesist, I am interested mainly in the citation records of some authors in linguistics and cognitive science.
This is not to imply that the synthesist will want to call up only these writings; obviously that could be foolishly parochial.
A synthesist might also be interested in ranking other data from the 390-item set - the authors who cite Swanson, their journals, and so on.
They, like synthesists, may delay decisions too long.
For example, an action-oriented committee dominated by pragmatists and realists can be expected to carry out the goals of the long-range planning committee, which ideally is composed of synthesists and idealists.
The synthesist: challenging, integrative, process oriented.
During this period, the Synthesis Institute will provide a member certification process for Synthesists (Student, Member, Associate, Fellow, etc.) and offer educational and research grants to deserving students and researchers.
In any case, you can expect the world to shift, making it easier both for natural Synthesists to gain recognition as such and for enterprises to exploit those people's natural skills, aptitudes, and attitudes.
* Synthesists. Although not referred to as such just yet, a very small number of individuals are utilized explicitly for their synthesizing skills.