Holism without meaning: A critical review of Fodor and Lepore's holism: A shopper's guide

Philosophical Psychology 6 (4):441-49 (1993)
Abstract In their book, Holism: A Shopper's Guide, Jerry Fodor and Ernest Lepore fail to distinguish between two kinds of holism. One of these is holism about meaning, which is indeed problematic. The other is holism about translation, which is not so clearly problematic. Moreover, the problem with the first sort is that it renders communication unintelligible, not that it rules out psychological laws. Further, Fodor and Lepore's criticisms of various contemporary holists are based on serious misreadings. In particular, Quine need not accept the conception of statements that they force on him, and Davidson and Dennett do not argue for the principle of charity in the ways Fodor and Lepore suppose. But Fodor and Lepore's question about the provenance of the principle of charity is a good one and deserves an answer
Keywords Epistemology  Holism  Language  Meaning  Semantics  Fodor, J  Lepore, E
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