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Workshop – ‘yoga and the mereological fallacy’
Yoga and the mereological fallacy:
Mereology is the study of the relationship between parts and the whole. It helps us with questions about when it is useful to reduce things and look at their component parts and when it is useful to put things together and consider the whole.
The mereological Fallacy is when ascribe qualities of the whole to a part of a thing. An example of this might be that the biceps flexes the elbow; this is only very partially true. A human being flexes an elbow not a bicep; a bicep has no will or mind to bring to bear on things, there are many other things that are involved in the bending of an arm. It might be thought pedantic to invoke this argument, but I don’t think it is, I think it leads us down a faulty way of thinking about movement and many other things.
We could also ask is it useful to separate breathing, asana and meditation, are they separate things, or do they have a relationship?