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In the following sentence, what can be used instead of "as one element"? I'm looking for a more academic word. I tend to say that human life and wildlife are not separate and they should be thought as a single unity.

A more accurate view of wildlife and human life is to see them as one element with many interconnected and mutually beneficial links between them.

Please suggest me a word!

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    indivisible, inextricably linked, part of an integral whole,... – FumbleFingers Feb 10 at 12:57
  • I think that in an academic context, you might be better off asking a lecturer or tutor who is a subject matter expert what the jargon of the field you're studying might be, since this might be field-dependent. – nick012000 Feb 12 at 2:22

11 Answers 11

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While it is marginally longer, I would suggest using as a single entity. The word "entity" allows for more complexity than the word element. The end of the sentence should perhaps be recast as well, to avoid the final plural "them" which would naturally refer back to the singular "entity. You would have

A more accurate view of wildlife and human life is to see them as a single entity with many interconnected and mutually beneficial links between its parts.

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You could use "holistic".

  • relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts

  • relating to or concerned with complete systems rather than with individual parts

// holistic ecology views humans and the environment as a single system (Merriam-Webster)

A more accurate view of wildlife and human life is to see them as a holistic ecology with many interconnected and mutually beneficial links between them.

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  • Holisticly certainly satisfies the "academic-sounding" part. Everyone knows what it means (more-or-less), but no one uses it in ordinary conversation. – Owen Reynolds Feb 12 at 17:16
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You might have to adjust the sentence structure a little, but: system.

From Merriam-Webster: "a regularly interacting or interdependent group of items forming a unified whole".

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    That was my idea as well: As opposed to "unit" or "entity", system doesn't hide the fact that the .. errr ... entity we're discussing has an internal structure with discernible, interacting ... components. That's exactly what the OP describes with "many interconnected and mutually beneficial links between its parts" (even if in all honestly we should admit that not all links are beneficial, as the Mammoths could confirm if they were still around ;-).) – Peter - Reinstate Monica Feb 11 at 10:10
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You could say that wildlife and human life are symbiotic, meaning a close, prolonged association between two or more different organisms of different species. It can also imply a mutually beneficial dependence.

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I would actually encourage you not to change your phrasing because you want a more academic word. "Element" is academic enough already, but that really doesn't matter. You want words that are clear and precise, and it is nice if they are vivid, but, in academic prose, clarity and precision are more important.

I notice that some answers that have been given focus more on the interconnections and mutual benefit, suggesting words like "symbiosis". But my impression is that you are more talking about categories, and that there should be one category of life, not human life and wildlife. In that case "category" isn't a bad choice of word. Peter's suggestion of "entity" and your own original "element" are good too.

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The term that is generally used for this is an ecosystem. Here is the definition:

all the living things in an area and the way they affect each other and the environment

A more accurate view of wildlife and human life is to see them as an ecosystem with many interconnected and mutually beneficial links between them

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  • This actually seems to be the best, since that's what "ecosystem" means. It's so misused these days to mean something like "product line" that it's a pleasant change to see it used correctly. meaning. – Bloke Down The Pub Feb 12 at 7:05
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You could use the word "monad" or the phrase "monistic whole".

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=monad+def&ia=definition

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/monistic

The idea is taken from philosophy, and even though you aren't talking about mind, substances, etc., it might accurately convey what I think you are trying to say. So, you could say something like:

A more accurate view of wildlife and humans is to see them as a monad/monistic whole (choose one) with many interconnected and mutually beneficial links between them.

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Commensal. It doesn't imply quite such an obligate dependency as symbiosis, and literally means "eating at the same table".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commensalism

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Symbiotic has a very specific scientific meanings, which you may or may not want. Commensal is more general but not widely used or understood.

A more general word which is used in many contexts is "interdependent".

Lots of others to consider: https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/interdependent

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A more accurate view of wildlife and human life is to see them as one nature (or as having the same nature) with many interconnected and mutually beneficial links between them.

Cambridge says that

the force that is responsible for physical life is often called nature.

However, I have a problem with the rest of the sentence. Once you state their oneness, it is strange to describe this oneness with "connections between them" in this way. It is as if you said:

This one nature has many interconnected and mutually beneficial links between them.

I would transform the phrase into a different clause showing cause or reason:

A more accurate view of wildlife and human life is to see them as one nature, having/ as they have many interconnected and mutually beneficial links between them.

A relative sentence would also be an option:

A more accurate view of wildlife and human life is to see them as one nature, within which/wherein they have many interconnected and mutually beneficial links between them.

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I would use the word monolithic

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    But that it is exactly not. The man-nature ... thing ... is a heterogeneous system. – Peter - Reinstate Monica Feb 11 at 10:11

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