Meaning Holism

In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press (2006)

Authors
Peter Pagin
Stockholm University
Abstract
The term ‘meaning holism’ has been used for a number of more or less closely interrelated ideas. According to one common view, meaning holism is the thesis that what a linguistic expression means depends on its relations to many or all other expressions within the same totality. Sometimes these relations are called ‘conceptual’ or ‘inferential’. A related idea is that what an expression means depends, mutually, on the meaning of the other expressions in the totality, or alternatively on some semantic property of this totality itself. The totality in question may be the language to which the expressions belong, or a theory formulation in that language.
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DOI 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199552238.003.0010
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