Holism in cartesianism and in today's philosophy of physics

The aim of this paper is to contribute to a more balanced judgement than the widespread impression that the changes which are called for in today's philosophy of physics and which centre around the concept of holism amount to a rupture with the framework of Cartesian philosophy of physics. I argue that this framework includes a sort of holism: As a result of the identification of matter with space, any physical property can be instantiated only if there is the whole of matter. Relating this holism to general relativity, I maintain that this holism cannot be directly applied to today's philosophy of physics consequent upon the failure of geometrodynamics. I show in what respect precisely the holism in quantum physics amounts to a revision of the holism within Cartesianism.
Keywords Cartesianism  geometrodynamics  holism  non-separability  quantum entanglement
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DOI 10.1023/A:1008326613673
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