Thinking, Experiencing and Rethinking Mereological Interdependence

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The present article is a partly ontological, partly Gestalt-psychological discussion of the thinkability of structures in which parts and whole are interdependent (MI). In the first section, I show that in the framework of E. Husserl’s formal part–whole ontology, the conceptualization of such an interdependence leads to (mereo)logical problems. The second section turns to and affirms the experience of this interplay between parts and whole, exemplified with B. Pinna’s recent research on meaningful Gestalt perception. In the final section, I take the experienceability of MI as a justification to suggest a way of rethinking it. This entails an implementation of the process of foregrounding and backgrounding displayed by reversible figures and originally described by E. Rubin. This can avoid both an identity relation between parts and whole and their mutual exclusion as well as hierarchization due to their apparent differences. It would also guarantee the inherent dynamics of interdependence.

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