De/Constituting WholesTowards Partiality Without PartsVienna: Turia + Kant, 2017
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Cite as: Manuele Gragnolati and Christoph F. E. Holzhey, ‘Beginnings: Constituting Wholes, Haunting, Plasticity’, in De/Constituting Wholes: Towards Partiality Without Parts, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey and Manuele Gragnolati, Cultural Inquiry, 11 (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2017), pp. 7–29 <>

BeginningsConstituting Wholes, Haunting, PlasticityManuele GragnolatiORCID and Christoph F. E. HolzheyORCID

Keywords: Wholeness; Partiality; Haunting; Plasticity; Totality (Philosophy); Malabou, Catherine

Wholes are said to be more than the sum of their parts. This ‘more’ contains both a promise and a threat. When different elements — which might be individuals, cultures, disciplines, or methods — form a whole, they not only join forces but also generate a surplus from which the parts can benefit. Being part of a whole is a way to acquire meaning; and having a part in the whole is to have an enlarged agency. But wholes are also more powerful than the sum of their parts.


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