Epistemological holism and semantic holism

In Yves Bouchard (ed.), Perspectives on Coherentism. Aylmar, Quebec: Editions du Scribe. pp. 17-33 (2002)
This paper draws upon the works of Wilfred Sellars, Jerry Fodor, and Ruth Millikan to argue against epistemological holism and conceptual holism. In the first section, I content that contrary to confirmation holism, there are individual beliefs ("basic beliefs") that receive nondoxastic/noninferential warrant. In the earliest stages of cognitive development, modular processes produce basic beliefs about how things are. The disadvantage of this type of basic belief is that the person may possess information that should have defeated the belief but that was not taken into account in the module's operations. For this reason, at more advanced stages of cognitive development, basic beliefs concern how things appear to be. These appearance beliefs are not formed holistically but should be checked against background beliefs before the person infers how things are. In the second section, I argue against functional-role/inferential-role semantics. Championing teleosemantics, I argue that many concepts' meanings are not determined by the meanings of other concepts. Rather, many concepts are skills of knowing how to identify of what the concept is. These skills can be developed independently of other beliefs or skills and are, in an important sense, theory-neutral.
Keywords Holism  Millikan, Ruth  Fodor, Jerry  Epistemology  Philosophy of mind  Philosophy  Philosophy of mind  Modularity  Philosophy of psychology  Perception
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
165 ( #32,609 of 2,231,886 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
22 ( #20,282 of 2,231,886 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature