"The whole is more than the sum of its parts" (Aristotle, 384-322 B.C. Greek) is a definition of the basic system problem. Arisotelia teleology, such as the order and goal-directness of living systems, were negated and by-passed rather than solved in the later development of Western science (Ludwig Von Bertalanffy, 1972).
"The properties and model of action of higher levels are not explicable by the summation of the properties and modes of action of their components taken in isolation. If, however, we ensemble of the components and relations existing between them, then the higher levels are derivable from the components" That is, in order to understand an organised whole we must know both the parts and the relations between them . (Ludwig Von Bertalanffy, 1972)
Chapter 1: The History of GST