, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 39-61

Holism About Meaning And About Evidence: In Defence Of W. V. Quine

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Holistic claims about evidence are a commonplace inthe philosophy of science; holistic claims aboutmeaning are a commonplace in the philosophy oflanguage. W. V. Quine has advocated both types ofholism, and argued for an intimate link between thetwo. Semantic holism may be inferred from theconjunction of confirmation holism andverificationism, he maintains. But in their recentbook Holism: a Shopper's Guide, Jerry Fodor andErnest Lepore (1992) claim that this inference isfallacious. In what follows, I defend Quine's argumentfor semantic holism from Fodor and Lepore'smulti-pronged attack.