All quotes from Russell Ackoff’s

The essential properties of any system, the properties that define this system, are properties of a whole which none of its parts have.

When I take a system apart it loses its essential properties. If I bring an automobile into this room and disassemble it, although I have every single part in this room I don’t have an automobile. Because the automobile is not the sum of its parts, it is the product of their interactions. Therefore, when I take a system apart, the whole loses its essential properties and, furthermore, so do its parts.

Nothing can be understood independently of the environment.