Does epistemological holism lead to meaning holism?

Topoi 21 (1-2):25-45 (2002)
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Abstract

There are various proposals for a general characterization of holism1. In this paper I propose the following: a variety of holism is the view that every X of an appropriate kind, which is part of a relevant whole W, cannot be legitimately separated or taken in isolation from W. Then, I distinguish two general kinds of holism, depending on two different reasons which can debar us from taking X in isolation from W. One reason can be that separating X from W always amounts to transforming X into something else. Correspondingly, a strong holism is the view that if the whole W is modified anywhere, X ceases to be X and becomes something else. Another reason why it may be illegitimate to consider X in isolation from W can be that if we separate X from W, nothing that we know entitles us to exclude that X might be transformed into something else. Correspondingly, virtual holism is the view that if the whole W is modified anywhere, we can never rule out that X ceases to be X and becomes something else.

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Cesare Cozzo
Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza

Citations of this work

On the copernican turn in semantics.Cesare Cozzo - 2008 - Theoria 74 (4):295-317.
Refusing to Endorse. A must Explanation for Pejoratives.Carlo Penco - 2018 - In Annalisa Coliva, Paolo Leonardi & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Eva Picardi on Language, Analysis and History. Londra, Regno Unito: Palgrave. pp. 219-239.

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References found in this work

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. Quine - 1951 - [Longmans, Green].
Epistemology Naturalized.W. V. Quine - 1969 - In Willard van Orman Quine (ed.), Ontological Relativity and Other Essays. Columbia University Press.
The justification of deduction.Michael Dummett - 1978 - In Truth and other enigmas. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
The Philosophical Basis of Intuitionistic Logic.Michael Dummett - 1978 - In Truth and other enigmas. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. pp. 215--247.
XIV—The Reality of the Past.Michael Dummett - 1969 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 69:239-258.

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