Integration: A process of connecting individual ideas into a cohesive unity.
Integration is like putting puzzle pieces together to form a larger picture. It's a process that ties your knowledge together, finding connections between the individual ideas and organizing them in a way that they can be understood as part of a larger idea. For instance, one may observe a series of actions taken by someone, and understand what each action accomplishes. But when taken together, the actions form a consistent plan to accomplish a larger goal. A concrete example may be the assembly of a newly bought desk. While each individual step within the directions is clear, the assembly directions unifies these actions into an overall approach that results in the successful assembly of the desk.
Integration serves a key epistemological function. By connecting various ideas into a unifying whole, it reduces the number of discrete ideas we have to retain. It combines them in a way that doesn't lose information, but makes it much more easily accessible. More integration also leads to better understanding, as each piece is no longer viewed in isolation. The connections between the different pieces is easily seen and understood.