Single Idea 9381

[catalogued under 19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 7. Meaning Holism / b. Language holism]

Full Idea

The Master Argument for linguistic holism is: Some of an expression's inferences are relevant to fixing its meaning; there is no way to distinguish the inferences that are constitutive (from Quine); so all inferences are relevant to fixing meaning.

Gist of Idea

If some inferences are needed to fix meaning, but we don't know which, they are all relevant


report of J Fodor / E Lepore (Holism: a Shopper's Guide [1993], žIII) by Paul Boghossian - Analyticity Reconsidered

Book Reference

-: 'Nous' [-], p.18

A Reaction

This would only be if you thought that the pattern of inferences is what fixes the meanings, but how can you derive inferences before you have meanings? The underlying language of thought generates the inferences? Meanings are involved!