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Old 28th July 2003, 05:14 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Hampshire, England
Posts: 204


"The Whole being greater than the sum of its parts (or exhibiting more properties than its components)"


"refers to the effects achieved by a combination of two or more entities".

The TV is a good example, as well as all electrical devices, machinery, vehicles. And, the more complicated they become, the more synergistic properties and manifestations they usually exhibit.

Examples I have experienced:

a. Machine room of a very Large IBM System/370 Mainframe: Remarkable presence. The control terminals chatting away to each other 24 hours/day; feel as if you are in the presence of an intelligent being.

b. Certain HiFi Systems costing over 30,000 ($45,000).

There comes a point at which a big leap in realism occurs in HiFi - true synergy from a combination of well chosen Source/Amp/Speakers. But it only happens when ALL THREE have the same very high level of specifications for what they do....if any of the three fall below par, this obvious leap in synergy, which can be heard very clearly, disappears completely. (But, how does it know at what level and when to appear?)

c. Many high quality cars exhibit additional synergistic characteristics which are pleasing; that's why people pay the price.

So, as a machine or system gets beyond a certain level of complexity, it begins to exhibit characteristics, and has a performance, not attributable to any of its individual components.

Living creatures are very complicated machines, and our bodies certainly work synergistically to many levels. Such characteristics arise especially as a result of the extreme complexity of the brain, which then affects the activities in the rest of the body. I think Hahnemann's Vital Principle is one of these synergistic manifestations...nothing spiritual or "immaterial", though, in a sense, that is what synergy is...somethings which mysteriously appear at certain levels of complexity. We have to try to define the words "material" and "immaterial"...or am I saying something you people have already discussed?

"IMMATERIAL" VITAL FORCE: In his 6th Ed Organon, I think Hahnemann is referring to a holistic synergistic manifestation which appears in the body, which is not "immaterial" in the sense of microscopic mechanisms of action (physiology/biochemistry) of living tissues. We should not be looking for an answer at this microscopic level.

I am starting another topic on this Forum to discuss the word "immaterial", as used by Hahnemann in the 6th Ed. Organon.
Posts: 173 | From: Hampshire, England | IP: Logged |

Member # 6775

posted 22 July, 2003 16:35
OK. That above post needs to be revised. I haven't touched it because its radical nature is something to build on. I said the Vital Principle/Force may be, or uses, some synergistic property that appears with complexity. Nature would not hestitate to make use of any properties at all, as we can see from the complexity of cell structure and higher control systems, the results of a very competitive evolution.

The ultimate example is the brain where, because of its complexity, we can predict the very highest levels of synergy...so much so that few could accept that the people they are talking to (and indeed themselves) are just machines, evolved to a state in which they exhibit so many new synergistic properties.
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