Holism : Possibilities and Problems book cover
1st Edition

Possibilities and Problems

ISBN 9780367424824
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
212 Pages

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Book Description

Holism: Possibilities and Problems brings together leading contributors in a ground-breaking discussion of holism. The terms ‘holism’ and ‘holistic’ arouse strong emotional responses in contemporary culture, whether this be negative or positive, and the essays in this interdisciplinary collection probe, each in its own way, the possibilities and problems inherent in thinking holistically.

Christian McMillan, Roderick Main and David Henderson bring together established academics and emerging scholars across subject areas and disciplinary approaches to reveal the multiplicity and complexity of issues involved in holism. Divided into four parts, the chapters determine key strands of thinking explicitly or implicitly underpinning contemporary holistic thought, including what ethical conclusions might most reasonably be drawn from such thought. Accessible and diverse, this extensive volume contains chapters from the perspective of history, ecology, psychotherapy, poetry, mythology, and an especially strong representation of continental philosophy and Jungian depth psychology. Due to its multi-disciplinary nature, the book represents an unparalleled discussion of the meanings and implications of holism.

Written by an innovative and international calibre of contributors, this pioneering collection will be essential reading for practitioners in depth psychology and scholars of Jungian studies, as well as academics and students of philosophy, religious studies, spirituality, history and the history of ideas. The book is a rich resource for the enhancement of critical reflection among all those with an interest in holism.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Roderick Main, Christian McMillan and David Henderson;  Part 1: History and contexts; Chapter 1: How do we think in terms of wholes? Holistic voices and visions after World War II, Linda Sargent Wood;  Chapter 2:  Irreducible responsibility: applying holism to navigate the Anthropocene, Andrew Fellows;  Chapter 3: Georg Ernst Stahl’s holistic organism, Barbara Helen Miller;  Part 2: Analytical Psychology; Chapter 4: From the split to wholeness: the ‘coniunctio’ in C. G. Jung’s Red Book, Alessio de Fiori;  Chapter 5: Science as a system: connections between Carl Gustav Jung’s holistic thoughts about science and his Red Book experience, Armelle Line Peltier;  Chapter 6: The holistic wish: migration of feeling, thought and experience, Phil Goss;  Chapter 7: Holistic education: the Jungian dilemma, Robert Mitchell;  Chapter 8: Simondon and Jung: re-thinking individuation, Mark Saban; Part 3: Philosophy; Chapter 9: A whole made of holes: interrogating holism via Jung and Schelling, Gordon Barentsen;  Chapter 10: Jung, Spinoza, Deleuze: a move towards realism, Robert Langan;  Chapter 11: Kant’s influence on Jung’s vitalism in the Zofingia Lectures, Christian McMillan;  Chapter 12: An emergent, critical realist understanding of holism, Ian Hornsby;  Chapter 13: Synchronicity: between wholes and alterity, Rico Snellee;  Chapter 14: Why don’t holisms describe the whole? The psyche as a case study, John Mackey;  Part 4: Practice and the arts;  Chapter 15: A synchronistic experience in Serbia, Richard Berengarten;  Chapter 16: The concept of kami in Shintō and holism: psychotherapy and Japanese literature, Megumi Yama;  Chapter 17: The CORE Trust: the holistic approach to addiction, Jason Wright

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Christian McMillan, PhD, is Lecturer at West Suffolk College, University of Suffolk, and was formerly Senior Research Officer in the Department for Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, UK.

Roderick Main, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies and Director of the Centre for Myth Studies at the University of Essex, UK.

David Henderson, PhD, is Lecturer in Jungian Studies in the Department for Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, UK. He is a member of the British Jungian Analytic Association (BJAA) and the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP).


'Never has holism been more important than in this era of planetary crisis, polarized thinking, and the fragmenting of communities and the psyche. Never too has holism been so lauded and derided. So Holism: Possibilities and Problems is a necessary book for the twenty first century. With a wonderfully cogent introduction by Roderick Main, Christian McMillan, and David Henderson, the book focuses on the interrelated thought of Gilles Deleuze and C. G. Jung while also ranging richly between philosophy, the arts, clinical practice and the Anthropocene. For seekers of "the whole" in the context of emergence, complexity theory and transdisciplinarity, this is the place to start.' - Susan Rowland, PhD, Pacifica Graduate Institute, California, USA