Holistic science, is an approach to research that emphasizes the study of complex systems. Systems are approached as coherent wholes whose component parts are best understood in context and in relation to one another and to the whole.
The holistic approach, as such, is applicable to all areas of knowledge and human life. The Holistic Sciences Academy has developed, by prof. H. G. Morgan and his work group, the principles, the method and the techniques that can be used in health and wellness, thus proposing an alternative method to the exclusively scientific one of conceiving the promotion of health and well-being.
Holistic sciences have been developed for the training of wellness professionals and are currently spread throughout Europe through schools that are part of the ENSA. Their method does not deny the scientific one, but is added to it, enriching the analytical observation with the global one and researching, of every aspect concerning the search for well-being and happiness, the integration between the elements that compose them.
This practice is in contrast to a purely analytic tradition (sometimes called reductionism) which aims to gain understanding of systems by dividing them into smaller composing elements and gaining understanding of the system through understanding their elemental properties. The holism-reductionism dichotomy is often evident in conflicting interpretations of experimental findings and in setting priorities for future research.
David Deutsch calls holism anti-reductionist and refers to the concept as thinking the only legitimate way to think about science is as a series of emergent, or higher level phenomena. He argues that neither approach is purely correct.