Holism and the Underlying Structure of Our Acceptance Criteria

Makmiller Pedroso


Quine, in his Two Dogmas of Empiricism, rejects the analytic/synthetic
distinction and recommends a position that has been being labeled as 'holism'.
My interest in this paper is to present a version of holism that is in many
respects similar to the Quinean version but is explicitly designed to shed some
light on the way different regions of our thought relate. I try to derive this
holism by the image of our practices that I believe Wittgenstein's argument
concerning rule-following stimulates. The motivation for this more
Wittgensteinian holism is to make explicit some features of our thinking that
would otherwise be hidden. In particular, a holism in this spirit introduces an
image where our different practices communicate much more than we would be
prompt to admit at first sight. This, in turn, encourages us to suspect any
attempt to take any of our practices in isolation from all the others.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; sense data; rule-following; justification; perception

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