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Gestalt

Discussed in: Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 9

Gestalt means the “Structural-Functional Organization” that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

For example, take note that understanding something does not equal to having a definition of it in terms of the correct features (a feature list).

“Although people believe that this (feature list) is how they know what a bird is, they’re mistaken in an important sense because I could satisfy this definition in the following way: I could put a couple of wings on this table, a bunch of feathers, a beak and then throw it all up in the air! I have wings, beak, feathers and flight! Do I have a bird? No, I don’t! I have a bloody mess because what’s missing is something more important. What’s missing is the structural, functional organization… The way all those things hang together… The way they’re structured together so that the bird functions as a whole. “