The human being may be considered as the prime example of holistic engineering. However, while human machines articulate large numbers of parts into great wholes, the ability to relate the parts of behavioural and societal activities and structures seems to lie outside human competence. Holism as a standard or ideal to apply to human efforts and goals seems to evoke a holophobia, a fear that this is incompatible with scientific methods, and while there are numbers of distinguished physical, natural and social scientists who are proponents, or tend towards holistic ideals, there are some scientists who do not acknowledge the complementarity between holistic and analytic methods. Anti-holism characterizes resistance to educational developments, particularly to the educational renaissance that has rediscovered the systemic integrity and developmental possibilities of the human being; and also resistance to reforms in medicine and health services in favour of maintaining segmented and unconnected departments.
The holistic framework is the one that seeks completeness and proportion among a system's or structure's members. It applies to political organization, education, health, economic behaviour, to human development, to environmental management, and to social welfare, from the most basic needs for food and shelter to the highest cultural achievements. As a philosophy, holism proposes that when the parts are properly fitted, the sum of the whole and its qualitative value can no longer be explained as an additive result by the method of reduction or analysis.