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Author(s): Julio C. Wasserman | Albano R. Alves

Journal: Engevista
ISSN 1415-7314

Volume: 6;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 113;
Date: 2004;
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Keywords: Holism | Environment | Interdisciplinarity | Numeric modeling

The holistic approach can be roughly defined as a philosophy that considers the endlessinteractions between various compartments of a complex system. Some authors have been calling thisview of the mechanisms and processes that control the phenomena of the Universe as systemicapproach. The areas where this approach can be applied range from astrophysics to businessmanagement, but an area where holism is particularly useful is the science of the nature. The difficultiesof the application of the holistic approach to natural science, arise from the absence of well establishedand tested methodologies, taking the scientists to face a huge gap of knowledge as they are forced tounderstand processes in areas that are too far from those he is used to. A critical example can beobtained from the prevision of environmental impacts, where the application of numeric modelingrequires a heavy load of mathematical knowledge, in order the processes are correctly simulated. In thiscase, each step of the process needs to be equationed in a very precise manner; otherwise, small errorscan be magnified, generating completely false informations. Interdisciplinary teams are already beinggathered to solve specific environmental problems, which yield enormous advancements on theknowledge of the environmental processes, showing that, although the scientific formation is stillCartesian, holistic science can be learned in the practice.
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