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19. Language / B. Meaning / 9. Meaning Holism

[meaning needs a complete language as background]

15 ideas
To understand a sentence means to understand a language [Wittgenstein]
Meaning holism tried to show that you can't get fixed meanings built out of observation terms [Putnam]
Understanding a sentence involves background knowledge and can't be done in isolation [Putnam]
Holism seems to make fixed definition more or less impossible [Putnam]
Holism says all language use is also a change in the rules of language [Dummett]
Can meanings remain the same when beliefs change? [Rorty]
The pattern of sentences held true gives sentences their meaning [Davidson]
If to understand "fish" you must know facts about them, where does that end? [Fodor]
For holists no two thoughts are ever quite the same, which destroys faith in meaning [Fodor]
If the meanings of sentences depend on other sentences, how did we learn language? [Dancy,J]
Meaning holism is a crazy doctrine [Fodor]
Holism cannot give a coherent account of scientific methodology [Wright,C]
Semantic holism means new evidence for a belief changes the belief, and we can't agree on concepts [Rey]
If some inferences are needed to fix meaning, but we don't know which, they are all relevant [Boghossian on Fodor/Lepore]
To understand 'birds warble' and 'tigers growl', you must also understand 'tigers warble' [Heil]