Holism without tears: Local and global effects in cognitive processing

Philosophy of Science 56 (June):258-74 (1989)
Abstract
The suggestion that cognition is holistic has become a prominent criticism of optimism about the prospects for cognitive science. This paper argues that the standard motivation for this holism, that of epistemological holism, does not justify this pessimism. An illustration is given of how the effects of epistemological holism on perception are compatible with the view that perceptual processes are highly modular. A suggestion for generalizing this idea to conceptual cognitive processing is made, and an account of the holists' failure is offered.
Keywords Cognition  Epistemology  Holism  Perception  Science
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