Local holism

In P. Bouquet (ed.), Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence. Kluwer 290--303 (2001)
This paper is devoted to discuss a general tendency in contextualism which is known as "radical contextualism". In the first part I state the well known paradox of semantic holism, as discussed in philosophy of language: if meaning is holistic there is no possibility to share any meaning. In the second part I present the different answers to this paradox, from atomism to different forms of holism. In the third part I give a criticism of the traditional interpretation of Wittgenstein as a supporter of global holism. I stress some similarities between Wittgenstein's thought and Multi Context theories in artificial inteligence. In the last part I give some argument against a rigid interpretation of "local holism": I claim the need to give restrictions to local holim and to develop a study of the connections between "default" properties and high level rules which are studied in Multi−Context theories.
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