David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Annalisa Coliva & Eva Picardi (eds.), Wittgenstein Today. Il Poligrafo 249--74 (2004)
This paper tries to give some substance to local holism, a picture that seems to fit Wittgenstein’s analysis of the working of language. 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. As an alternative lecture I will suggest some lines of Wittgenstein's thought leading towards a definition of local holism. Eventually I will show connections with ideas developed in Multi Context theories in artificial intelligence, which help to show a possible direction of inquiry about restrictions on locality.
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