About this topic
Summary 'Meaning Holism' is a name for a cluster of views about meaning and/or content that emphasize either the priority of some semantic whole over its parts, or take the meanings of words or content and concepts to be interconnected and constitutively dependent on each other. In contrast, atomist views would emphasize the priority of the parts or take the meanings of words or content/concepts to be independent of each other.  The first form of holism emphasizes the priority of the sentential over the sub-sentential. We might call this 'Sentential Priority'. It stems from Kant's emphasis of the priority of judgment over concepts and has been inspired by Frege's and Wittgenstein's "context principle" on which one should "never ask for the meaning of a word in isolation, but only in the context of a sentence" (Frege). It has been subscribed to by Quine, Davidson, Brandom, but also some Neo-Griceans like Neale and Schiffer who take speaker meaning to be basic and define speaker reference in terms of it. In contrast, atomists take the sub-sentential (reference, predication) to be basic and define the sentential in terms of it. The second form of holism is what's more commonly known as 'Holism' on which the meaning of a word is somehow constitutively connected to the meanings of all other words (same goes for content and concepts). Holism is related to the rejection of analytic/synthetic distinction by Quine and his confirmation holism and Davidson's interpretivist view of meaning and content. It is thought to follow from the conceptual role or inferential views of meaning and content of Sellars, Harman, Block, Brandom etc. This tradition has been influentially criticized by Fodor&Lepore. Some central questions are whether holism is compatible with learnability of language and compositionality, and whether it has problems with accounting for the intuitive stability of meaning and content.  There have been attempts to reconcile atomism and holism. As far as Sentential Priority, one might make progress by distinguishing between content-words or open-category expressions for which atomism seems plausible, and functional or closed-category expressions the meanings of which can only be understood in terms of their contribution to the sentential. In both cases some have argued that atomism is correct in semantics, but holism correct at the level of metasemantics.
Key works Davidson's commitment to sentential primacy is stated in Davidson 1977 and criticized in Perry 1994. Schiffer's commitment is articulated in Schiffer 1981. Davidson's interpretivist view is set out in Davidson 1973. For Sellars's inferentialist view see Sellars 1954. Harman's and Block's views are stated in Harman 1973 and Block 1986. Brandom's normative inferentialism is spelled out in Brandom 1994. Fodor&Lepore's critical work on holism can be found in Fodor & Lepore 1992. On whether compositionality is compatible with holism see Pagin 1997. On closed- and open-category expressions see Szabo 2019. On attempts to reconcile one or the other types of atomism and holism by appeal to the semantics/metasemantics distinction see Linnebo 2009, Pagin 1997Jackman 2005.
Introductions For an introduction to compositionality and the context principle see Szabó 2008. For an accessible and insightful discussion of Frege's context principle see Cariani 2018. For introductions to holism see Block 1996, Pagin 2006, Dresner 2012, and Jackman 2014. For an introduction to conceptual role semantics see Greenberg & Harman 2006.
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261 found
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  1. Differences Between Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Belief Ascription: A Problem with Block's Argument for Holism.Ron Mallon - unknown
    instead he argues for a conditional: "if there is such a thing as narrow content, it is holistic," where holism is taken to be "the doctrine that any _substantial_ difference in W-beliefs, whether between two people or between one person at two times, requires a difference in the meaning or content of W" (153, 152).
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  2. Quine and Holism.Kênio Estrela - forthcoming - AL-Mukhatabat.
    Holism is a well-known and discussed theory in several fields of philosophy, especially in the field of epistemology and the philosophy of language. Willard Van Orman Quine was one of the leading analytical philosophers to argue about this topic in the last 70 years. The objective of this paper is to present how Quine developed his holistic arguments, identifying the texts in which they appear, and finally to present our interpretation of how epistemological holism and meaning holism work in the (...)
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  3. The de Lagunas’ Dogmatism and Evolution, Overcoming Modern Philosophy and Making Post-Quinean Analytic Philosophy.Joel Katzav - forthcoming - Neglected Classics of Philosophy II. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Willard V. Quine’s 1951 article, “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” (Two Dogmas) was taken to be revolutionary because it rejects the analytic-synthetic distinction and the thesis that empirical statements are confirmed individually rather than holistically. The present chapter, however, argues that the overcoming of modern philosophy already included the overcoming of these theses by Hegelians, pragmatists and two critics of Hegelianism and pragmatism, Grace and Theodore de Laguna. From this perspective, Two Dogmas offers a Hegelian epistemology that was already superseded in (...)
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  4. Holism and Atomism in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.Krystian Bogucki - 2021 - Analiza I Egzystencja 55 (3):24 - 48.
    The aim of my paper is to describe and evaluate different conceptions of holism in Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. I distinguish three readings of holistic elements in this work: i) Minimal Holism (E. Anscombe, M. Black, D. Pears); ii) Moderate Holism (J. Conant, C. Diamond, G. Ryle); and iii) Radical Holism (G. Bar-Elli, M. Kremer, P. Livingston). The conclusion is that the most viable option is Moderate Holism since it embraces the logico-syntactical notion of use, rejects an anachronistic interpretation of (...)
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  5. Is Conceptual Relativism a Prerequisite for Philosophy as Conceptual Engineering?Pavol Labuda - 2021 - Filozofia 76 (1):3-17.
    The aim of the paper is to examine whether conceptual relativism is a prerequi-site for conceptual engineering (and if so, then to what extent). In the first part of the paper, I explore and classify varieties of relativism to prepare a distinctive definition of conceptual relativism. In the second part I analyse conceptual relativism and I consequently propose two different readings of conceptual scheme: (i) conceptual scheme as a monolithic, timeless, and determinate systems of meanings, and (ii) conceptual scheme as (...)
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  6. Concepts, Normativity, and Self-Knowledge. On Ginsborg's Conception of Primitive Normativity.David Lauer - 2021 - In Christoph Demmerling & Dirk Schröder (eds.), Concepts in Thought, Action, and Perception. London, New York: Routledge. pp. 117-138.
    In a series of intriguing and far-reaching papers, Hannah Ginsborg introduced the notion of “primitive normativity” as the cornerstone of a novel account of the normativity of concepts, thought, and meaning. Her account is supposed to steer a middle course between what she regards as the two horns of a dilemma first laid out by Saul Kripke in his seminal reading of Wittgenstein’s discussion of rule-following. I propose to investigate Ginsborg’s conception. I begin by establishing the conceptual relations between the (...)
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  7. Introduction.Olivia Sultanescu - 2020 - Dialogue 59 (2):157-164.
    In Donald Davidson's Triangulation Argument: A Philosophical Inquiry, Robert H. Myers and Claudine Verheggen spell out, and extensively build on, the triangulation argument advanced by Donald Davidson. This paper is an introduction to a symposium devoted to their development of that argument. The symposium began in 2018 as an authors-meet-critics session at the Canadian Philosophical Association Annual Congress, and consists in the responses of three critics, Kirk Ludwig, Alexander Miller, and Paul Hurley, followed by Verheggen's and Myers's replies. I offer (...)
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  8. Patterns, Noise, and Beliefs.Lajos Ludovic Brons - 2019 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 23 (1):19-51.
    In “Real Patterns” Daniel Dennett developed an argument about the reality of beliefs on the basis of an analogy with patterns and noise. Here I develop Dennett’s analogy into an argument for descriptivism, the view that belief reports do no specify belief contents but merely describe what someone believes, and show that this view is also supported by empirical evidence. No description can do justice to the richness and specificity or “noisiness” of what someone believes, and the same belief can (...)
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  9. Holism, Meaning Similarity and Inferential Space—a Measurement Theoretic Approach.Eli Dresner - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 48 (4):611-630.
    Proponents of meaning holism often invoke notions of meaning similarity and semantic spatiality in order to counter accusations that holism renders language unstable and chaotic. However, talk of such notions often falls short of being explicit and formal. In this paper I present an algebraically couched theory of inferential similarity and spatiality, motivated by measurement theory, and I apply it to the discussion of meaning holism. I argue that the proposed theory offers new and improved conceptual resources for facing the (...)
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  10. What Frege Asked Alex the Parrot: Inferentialism, Number Concepts, and Animal Cognition.Erik Nelson - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (2):206-227.
    While there has been significant philosophical debate on whether nonlinguistic animals can possess conceptual capabilities, less time has been devoted to considering 'talking' animals, such as parrots. When they are discussed, their capabilities are often downplayed as mere mimicry. The most explicit philosophical example of this can be seen in Brandom's frequent comparisons of parrots and thermostats. Brandom argues that because parrots (like thermostats) cannot grasp the implicit inferential connections between concepts, their vocal articulations do not actually have any conceptual (...)
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  11. Sellars's Twist on Carnap's Syntax.Anke Breunig - 2018 - In Wilfrid Sellars and Twentieth-Century Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 29-54.
    This chapter explores the relation between Sellars and Carnap by focusing on Sellars’s reception of Carnap’s Logical Syntax of Language. It claims that Carnap’s book was an important source of inspiration for Sellars. He saw promise in some of Carnap’s ideas to further a theory of meaning free of the Myth of the Given, while objecting that Carnap neglects the normativity of meaning. It is argued that this neglect leads to tensions internal to Carnap’s system. Three problems are formulated which (...)
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  12. A Context Principle for the Twenty-First Century.Fabrizio Cariani - 2018 - In Annalisa Coliva, Paolo Leonardi & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Eva Picardi on Language, Analysis and History. Palgrave. pp. 183-203.
    Taking a lead from Eva Picardi’s work and influence, I investigate the significance of Frege’s context principle for the philosophy of language. I argue that there are some interpretive problems with recent meta-semantic interpretations of the principle. Instead, I offer a somewhat weaker alternative: the context principle is a tool to license certain definitions. Moreover, I claim that it merely lays out one of many possible ways of licensing a definition. This means, among other things, that despite Frege’s imperative injunctions, (...)
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  13. Moderate Holism: Answering to Criticism and Explaining Linguistic Phenomena.Kênio Estrela - 2018 - Fragmentos de Cultura 28 (n.2):258-270.
    In this paper I present a version of meaning holism proposed by Henry Jackman (1999a, 1999b, 2005 and 2015) entitled "moderate holism". I will argue that this moderate version of holism, in addition to responding to much of the criticism attributed to traditional semantic holism (such as translation, disagreement, change of mind and communication), is also extremely useful to explain the occurrence of several, such as vagueness and polysemy.
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  14. Brandom's Inferentialist Theory and the Meaning Entitlement Connection.Alessia Marabini - 2018 - In Hamdi Mlika (ed.), Lectures de Robert Brandom. Edilivre. pp. 51-90.
    According to Brandom’s conceptual role semantics, to grasp a concept involves a commitment to drawing certain inferences. This is a consequence of the inferentialist thesis that the meaning of a term is given by its justification through assertibility conditions. Inferential commitments come out from a material notion of inference which underwrites human rational discourse and activity. In this paper I discuss a problem of Brandom’s semantics allegedly exposed in an argument by Paul Boghossian against Dummett’s and Brandom’s substantive conception of (...)
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  15. A Meaning Holistic (Dis)Solution of Subject–Object Dualism – its Implications for the Human Sciences.Tero Piiroinen - 2018 - History of the Human Sciences 31 (3):64-82.
    This article presents and analyses a social-practice contextualist version of meaning holism, whose main root lies in American pragmatism. Proposing that beliefs depend on systems of language-use in social practices, which involve communities of people and worldly objects, such meaning holism effectively breaks down the Enlightenment tradition’s philosophical subject–object dualism. It also opens the human mind up for empirical research – in a ‘sociologizing’, ‘anthropologizing’ and ‘historicizing’ vein. The article discusses the implications of this approach for the human sciences, for (...)
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  16. Is Meaning Holism Compatible with Semantic Minimalism?Filip Kawczyński - 2017 - Studia Semiotyczne 31 (2):53-75.
    Meaning Holism and Contextualism are standardly acknowledged to be similar relativistic theories that often lead to similar troubles, in particular to issues concerning instability. On the other hand, the main rival of Contextualism, which is Minimalism, is taken to be resistant to these problems. In effect, it seems inevitable to see Meaning Holism and Minimalism as natural enemies. In my paper, I attempt to reject such a view. My argumentation consists of three main parts. First, I argue that Minimalism does (...)
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  17. Non-Holistic Meaning Anatomism and the No-Principled-Basis Consideration.Chun-Ping Yen - 2017 - CHUL HAK SA SANG - Journal of Philosophical Ideas:201-221.
    Jerry Fodor and Ernest Lepore (1999/2002) frame the debate over meaning holism in terms of a distinction between meaning atomism and meaning anatomism. The former holds that the meaning of an expression E is determined by some relation between E and some extra-linguistic entity. The latter holds that the meaning of E is at least partly determined by some of E’s “inward” relations (IRs) with other expressions in the very language. They (1992) argue that meaning anatomism inevitably collapses into meaning (...)
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  18. Algunas relaciones entre el holismo de la confirmación y el holismo semántico: estudio de caso.Santiago Ginnobili - 2016 - Metatheoria 6 (1):95-106.
    La tesis del holismo de la confirmación aparece por primera vez presentada de manera explícita y extensa en los escritos de Duhem. Años después, es defendida por Quine, pero no en base a la discusión de teorías científicas particulares, sino en relación con su posición semántica. Desde entonces las relaciones entre el holismo semántico y el holismo de la contrastación han sido discutidas, aunque generalmente de un modo algo despegado del análisis de teorías específicas y sus relaciones. Pretendo mostrar a (...)
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  19. Pratiche discorsive razionali. Studi sull'inferenzialismo di Robert Brandom.Pietro Salis - 2016 - Milano-Udine: Mimesis Edizioni.
    Cosa vuol dire “fare uso di concetti”? Che relazione sussiste tra l’uso di un sistema concettuale e l’uso di un linguaggio naturale? Esiste un’influenza delle pratiche sociali in cui sono coinvolti gli esseri umani sui significati delle loro espressioni linguistiche? Che rapporto lega il ragionamento con l’uso di concetti? Queste sono alcune delle domande centrali per il lavoro del filosofo statunitense Robert Brandom. Sulla scorta di simili interrogativi, e mediante un confronto articolato con autori quali Kant, Hegel, Frege, Wittgenstein, Sellars (...)
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  20. Counterfactually Robust Inferences, Modally Ruled Out Inferences, and Semantic Holism.Pietro Salis - 2016 - AL-Mukhatabat (16):111-35.
    It is often argued that inferential role semantics (IRS) entails semantic holism as long as theorists fail to answer the question about which inferences, among the many, are meaning-constitutive. Since analyticity, as truth in virtue of meaning, is a widely dismissed notion in indicating which inferences determine meaning, it seems that holism follows. Semantic holism is often understood as facing problems with the stability of content and many usual explanations of communication. Thus, we should choose between giving up IRS, to (...)
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  21. The Swampman Puzzle and Diachronic Holism.Yujian Zheng - 2016 - Philosophical Forum 47 (2):171-193.
  22. Davidson's Interpretations: The Step Not Taken.Eli Dresner - 2015 - Noûs 49 (4):698-712.
    In the first section of this paper I follow an important trajectory in the development of Davidson's notion of radical interpretation: From being interpretationally concerned only with language, like Quine's radical translation that precedes it, through involving the ascription of belief in increasingly complex ways, to finally incorporating desire and preference. In the second section of the paper I show that Davidson falls short of incorporating non-linguistic action in radical interpretation, I assess his motivations for doing so, and I criticize (...)
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  23. "Meaning Holism".Henry Jackman - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A general introduction to the issues surrounding the question of semantic holism.
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  24. Semantic Holism and Language Learning.Martin Jönsson - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):725-759.
    Holistic theories of meaning have, at least since Dummett’s Frege: The Philosophy of language, been assumed to be problematic from the perspective of the incremental nature of natural language learning. In this essay I argue that the general relationship between holism and language learning is in fact the opposite of that claimed by Dummett. It is only given a particular form of language learning, and a particular form of holism, that there is a problem at all; in general, for all (...)
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  25. Logical Pluralism, Meaning-Variance, and Verbal Disputes.Ole Thomassen Hjortland - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2):355-373.
    Logical pluralism has been in vogue since JC Beall and Greg Restall 2006 articulated and defended a new pluralist thesis. Recent criticisms such as Priest 2006a and Field 2009 have suggested that there is a relationship between their type of logical pluralism and the meaning-variance thesis for logic. This is the claim, often associated with Quine 1970, that a change of logic entails a change of meaning. Here we explore the connection between logical pluralism and meaning-variance, both in general and (...)
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  26. The Themes of Quine's Philosophy: Meaning, Reference, and Knowledge.Edward Becker - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
    Willard Van Orman Quine's work revolutionized the fields of epistemology, semantics and ontology. At the heart of his philosophy are several interconnected doctrines: his rejection of conventionalism and of the linguistic doctrine of logical and mathematical truth, his rejection of the analytic/synthetic distinction, his thesis of the indeterminacy of translation and his thesis of the inscrutability of reference. In this book Edward Becker sets out to interpret and explain these doctrines. He offers detailed analyses of the relevant texts, discusses Quine's (...)
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  27. Meaning Holism.Eli Dresner - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (9):611-619.
    In the first section of this paper I define meaning holism (MH) and compare it to related theses. In the second section I review several theories of meaning that incorporate MH as a feature, and in the third section I discuss the question whether and how MH is consistent with the assignment of semantic values to linguistic expressions. Finally, in the fourth section I present the main objections raised against MH in the literature and the answers given to them.
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  28. Semantic Holism and the Insider–Outsider Problem.Mark Q. Gardiner & Steven Engler - 2012 - Religious Studies 48 (2):239 - 255.
    This article argues that — despite the value of distinguishing between insiders and outsiders in a contingent and relative sense — there is no fundamental insider—outsider problem. We distinguish weak and strong versions of 'insiderism' (privileged versus monopolistic access to knowledge) and then sociological and religious versions of the latter. After reviewing critiques of the sociological version, we offer a holistic semantic critique of the religious version (i.e. the view that religious experience and/or language offers sui generis access to knowledge). (...)
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  29. Taking Back the Excitement : Construing "Theoretical Concepts" so as to Avoid the Threat of Underdetermination.Richard N. Manning - 2012 - In Gerhard Preyer (ed.), Donald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the Mental. Oxford University Press. pp. 269.
  30. Quine’s Behaviorism and Linguistic Meaning: Why Quine’s Behaviorism is Not Illicit.Tyrus Fisher - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (1):51-59.
    Some of Quine’s critics charge that he arrives at a behavioristic account of linguistic meaning by starting from inappropriately behavioristic assumptions (Kripke 1982, 14; Searle 1987, 123). Quine has even written that this account of linguistic meaning is a consequence of his behaviorism (Quine 1992, 37). I take it that the above charges amount to the assertion that Quine assumes the denial of one or more of the following claims: (1) Language-users associate mental ideas with their linguistic expressions. (2) A (...)
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  31. Life, Holism and Emergence: Converging Themes.Robert Van Gulick - 2011 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (5-6):139 - 147.
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  32. Semantic Holism in Scientific Language.Holger Andreas - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (4):524-543.
    Whether meaning is compositional has been a major issue in linguistics and formal philosophy of language for the last 2 decades. Semantic holism is widely and plausibly considered as an objection to the principle of semantic compositionality therein. It comes as a surprise that the holistic peculiarities of scientific language have been rarely addressed in formal accounts so far, given that semantic holism has its roots in the philosophy of science. For this reason, a model-theoretic approach to semantic holism in (...)
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  33. Holism and Contextuality: A Quantum-Like Semantics for Music.Maria Chiara, Roberto Giuntini & Eleonora Negri - 2010 - Manuscrito 33 (1).
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  34. Why Meaning (Probably) Isn't Conceptual Role.Jerry A. Fodor & Ernest Lepore - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophical Issues. Routledge. pp. 15 - 35.
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  35. Just How Controversial is Evidential Holism?Joe Morrison - 2010 - Synthese 173 (3):335-352.
    This paper is an examination of evidential holism, a prominent position in epistemology and the philosophy of science which claims that experiments only ever confirm or refute entire theories. The position is historically associated with W.V. Quine, and it is at once both popular and notorious, as well as being largely under-described. But even though there’s no univocal statement of what holism is or what it does, philosophers have nevertheless made substantial assumptions about its content and its truth. Moreover they (...)
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  36. Reconciling Semantic Dispositionalism with Semantic Holism.Adam C. Podlaskowski - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (1):169-178.
    Dispositionalist theories of mental content have been attacked on the grounds that they are incompatible with semantic holism. In this paper, I resist important worries of this variety, raised by Paul Boghossian. I argue that his objections can be avoided by a conceptual role version of dispositionalism, where the multifarious relationships between mental contents are grounded on the relationships between their corresponding, grounding dispositions.
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  37. Casual Explanation and Base Holism in the Natural Philosophy of Aristotle.Alejandro G. Vigo - 2010 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 51 (122):587-615.
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  38. Holism, Communication, and the Emergence of Public Meaning: Lessons From an Economic Analogy.Andrew Kenneth Jorgensen - 2009 - Philosophia 37 (1):133-147.
    Holistic accounts of meaning normally incorporate a subjective dimension that invites the criticism that they make communication impossible, for speakers are bound to differ in ways the accounts take to be relevant to meaning, and holism generalises any difference over some words to a difference about all, and this seems incompatible with the idea that successful communication requires mutual understanding. I defend holism about meaning from this criticism. I argue that the same combination of properties (subjective origins of value, holism (...)
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  39. Response to Hendricks and Lepore.Ludovic Soutif - 2009 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 250 (4).
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  40. 7.2. Bringing Into Focus: Holism and Dualism, Heart and Head.Ning Yu - 2009 - In The Chinese Heart in a Cognitive Perspective: Culture, Body, and Language. Mouton de Gruyter.
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  41. Holism and Singularity Towards an Ontology of the Unfitting.Hilan Bensusan & Manuel de Pinedo - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 17:15-22.
    Holism about thought content – especially coupled with a measure of semantic externalism – can provide us with an attractive account of how thinking relates to the world. It can help us to tell a neat story that starts out with the inseparable entanglement of truth and intelligibility: in order to understand thought, to confront it to the world and to give verdicts about that confrontation, we need to grasp a considerable amount of truths. A variety of positions that emerge (...)
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  42. What is Wrong with the Indeterminacy of Language-Attribution?Arpy Khatchirian - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 146 (2):197 - 221.
    One might take the significance of Davidson’s indeterminacy thesis to be that the question as to which language we can take another to be speaking can only be settled relative to our choice of an acceptable theory for interpreting the speaker. This, in turn, could be taken to show that none of us is ever speaking a determinate language. I argue that this result is self-defeating and cannot avoid collapse into a troubling skepticism about meaning. I then offer a way (...)
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  43. An Impossibility Result on Semantic Resemblance.Hannes Leitgeb - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (3):293-306.
    We show that a set of prima facie plausible assumptions on the relation of meaning resemblance – one of which is a compositionality postulate – is inconsistent. On this basis we argue that either there is no theoretically useful notion of semantic resemblance at all, or the traditional conception of the compositionality of meaning has to be adapted. In the former case, arguments put forward by Nelson Goodman and Paul Churchland in favor of the concept of meaning resemblance are defeated. (...)
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  44. The Riddle of ‘Gavagai’: Reflection on Quine’s Theory of Indeterminacy.Shao Ming - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 39:149-155.
    In 20th century, many philosophers were excited by new discoveries in natural science, and held some kind of thoughts of indeterminacy. The trend is opposite to the traditional pursuit of certainty with a dogmatic character. However, through analyzing Quine’s theory of indeterminacy of translation, as well as the ideas of indeterminacy what Rorty and Putnam have developed forward, the article will argue that: their conclusions of indeterminacy inferred from the observationsentences are questionable; indeterminacy perhaps is materialized so that they similarly (...)
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  45. Meaning Holism and De Re Ascription.Daniel Whiting - 2008 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):575-599.
    According to inferential role semantics (IRS), for an expression to have a particular meaning or express a certain concept is for subjects to be disposed to make, or to treat as proper, certain inferential transitions involving that expression.1 Such a theory of meaning is holistic, since according to it the meaning or concept any given expression possesses or expresses depends on the inferential relations it stands in to other expressions.
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  46. 5 Holism and Animal Minds.David H. Finkelstein - 2007 - In Alice Crary (ed.), Wittgenstein and the Moral Life: Essays in Honor of Cora Diamond. MIT Press. pp. 251.
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  47. Library of Living Philosphers: The Philosophy of Michael Dummett.L. E. Hahn (ed.) - 2007 - Open Court.
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  48. The Possibility of Philosophical Anthropology.Jo-Jo Koo - 2007 - In Georg W. Bertram, Robin Celikates, Christophe Laudou & David Lauer (eds.), Socialité et reconnaissance: Grammaires de l’humain. L'Harmattan. pp. 105-121.
    Is a conception of human nature still possible or even desirable in light of the “postmetaphysical sensibilities” of our time? Furthermore, can philosophy make any contribution towards the articulation of a tenable conception of human nature given this current intellectual climate? I will argue in this paper that affirmative answers can be given to both of these questions. Section I rehearses briefly some of the difficulties and even dangers involved in working out any conception of human nature at all, let (...)
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  49. Radical Misinterpretation: Reply to Stoutland.Ernest Lepore & Kirk Ludwig - 2007 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 15 (4):557-585.
    This paper responds to a critical review of our 2005 book Donald Davidson: Meaning, Truth, Language and Reality, by Frederick Stoutland. It identifies a number of serious misreadings of both Davidson and the book.
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  50. Malapropisms and Davidson's Theories of Literal Meaning.John Michael McGuire - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 6:93-97.
    In this paper I show that two conflicting theories of literal meaning can be found in Donald Davidson's philosophy of language. In his earlier writings, Davidson espoused the common sense idea that words have literal meanings independently of particular contexts of use. In his later writings, however, Davidson insisted that the literal meaning of a word is a function of the speaker's intentions in using it, from which it follows that words do not have literal meanings independently of particular contexts. (...)
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