How do we think in terms of wholes? Holistic voices and visions after world war II

Linda Sargent Wood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter provides a retrospective of holism after 1945, a time when holistic sensibilities resounded throughout significant subsections of the U.S. and elsewhere. This perspective-a view that reality can only be understood as a whole-emphasised interdependencies, integration, and community. Holistic projects changed policies and perceptions, affecting the ways people lived, worked, worshipped, and interacted. Demonstrating some of the character, manipulability, power, and reach of holism at this historical juncture, Linda Sargent Wood spotlights nature writer Rachel Carson; structural engineer Buckminster Fuller; Baptist minister and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.; Jesuit priest and palaeontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin; humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow; and the Esalen Institute. These individuals and their work reflect the concept of holism. Each addressed constituent parts of the human experience from the individual (body, mind, spirit), society, the natural and built environments and the cosmos. Together, they provide a view of this whole holistic endeavour. Wood ends the chapter with a short exploration of the possibilities and problems of holistic thinking and practices today. Like past iterations, this kaleidoscope of ideas offers compelling insights. The question is how it will be used, for good or ill.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHolism
Subtitle of host publicationPossibilities and Problems
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781000768145
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'How do we think in terms of wholes? Holistic voices and visions after world war II'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this