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Holism in Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Physics : Synthese Library - Michael Esfeld

Holism in Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Physics

Synthese Library

Hardcover Published: 30th June 2001
ISBN: 9780792370031
Number Of Pages: 370

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The Scope of the Project The concept of holism is at the centre of far-reaching changes in various areas of philosophy in the second half of the twentieth century. Holism in epistemology and the philosophy of mind is widespread among analytic philosophers subsequent to the work of the later Wittgenstein and to Quine's "Two Dogmas of Empiricism". Roughly speaking, the claim is that (a) for a person to have beliefs, a social, linguistic community is required and that (b) single beliefs have a meaning only within a whole system of beliefs. Furthermore, holism is discussed in science, in particular in the interpretation of quantum physics. In fact, the term "holism" goes back to Smuts (1926), who introduces this term in a biological context. I Holism in any of these areas has considerable consequences for our philosophical view of the world and ourselves. Holism in quantum physics is said to refute atomism, which has been predominant in modem philosophy of nature. Holism in epistemology and the philosophy of mind is seen as an alternative to what is known as the Cartesian tradition, which dominated modem thought down to logical empiricism.

Acknowledgementsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
What is Holism? Proposal for a General Conceptionp. 1
Requirements for a General Conception of Holismp. 2
Proposal for a General Conception of Holism
Step 1: Generic Ontological Dependencep. 6
Step 2: Properties that make Something a Constituent Partp. 11
Result: Proposal for a General Conception of Holismp. 15
Is the Proposed Conception Substantial?p. 17
Two Types of Holismp. 23
Arguments for Holism About Beliefs
The Argument from Confirmation
The Duhem--Quine Thesisp. 29
From Confirmation Holism to Semantic Holismp. 32
Is Quine's Argument for Holism Convincing?p. 36
The Argument from Interpretationp. 43
The Argument from Inferential Role
Tasks for an Inferential Role Semanticsp. 46
Inferential Role and Shared Beliefsp. 49
Inferential Role as Social Role
Meaning through Use in a Communityp. 52
Inferential Role in a Public Languagep. 56
Inferential Semantics based on Normative Pragmaticsp. 60
From Social Holism to Holism About Beliefs
The Problem of Rule-Following
What is the Problem of Rule-Following?p. 69
Rule-Following as Motivation for Social Holismp. 74
Social Holism
Meaning through Social Practices: The Argument for Social Holismp. 80
Objections to the Argument for Social Holismp. 85
Social Practices in terms of I--Thou Relationsp. 91
An Argument for Social Holism and Holism about Beliefsp. 96
Holism as Revision of the Cartesian Tradition
What is the Cartesian Tradition in Philosophy of Mind?p. 103
Direct Realism versus Representational Realismp. 110
Holism and Externalism
Social Externalismp. 116
Externalism about Singular Beliefsp. 117
Externalism about Natural Kind Conceptsp. 119
Holism and the Relation Between Mind and World
From Inference to Representationp. 127
Holism and Realism
Open-ended I--Thou Relationsp. 129
Rule-Following and Response-Dependencep. 135
A Pragmatic Realismp. 144
Social Practices in a Physical Environment
A Comprehensive Holism?p. 147
A Pragmatic Conception of Rationalityp. 150
Holism and the Metaphysics of Mind
Holism and Anti-Reductionismp. 156
What is the Resulting View of Ourselves?p. 160
Overview of Holism in Philosophy of Mindp. 162
Cartesianism in Physics and Holism About Space or Space-Time
A Basis for Holism in Descartes' Philosophy of Physicsp. 165
Spinoza's Theory of Extensionp. 170
Holism about Matter as Holism about Spacep. 176
Holism about Space and the Conception of Motionp. 182
Holism about Space and the Philosophy of General Relativity
Holism about Matter as Holism about Space-Timep. 183
Proposed Philosophical Consequences of Relativity Physicsp. 186
The Basis for Holism in Quantum Physics
New Conceptual Features of Quantum Theory
Observables and Statesp. 195
Incompatible Observablesp. 197
Entangled Statesp. 201
The Case of Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen
The Principles of Separability and Local Actionp. 206
Einstein's Argument for the Incompleteness of Quantum Theoryp. 209
Bell's Theorem and the Philosophical Implications
Bell's Theorem and the Bell Experimentsp. 212
Non-Locality and the Bell Experimentsp. 219
"Experimental Metaphysics"p. 223
The Meaning of Quantum Holism
Commitments in the Interpretation of Quantum Theory
An Ontological Interpretation without Hidden Variablesp. 231
A Minimal Requirement for an Ontological Interpretationp. 238
Entanglement at the Microphysical Level of Naturep. 243
The Failure of Supervenience and Separability
Non-Supervenient Relationsp. 245
Non-Supervenient Properties of the Wholep. 251
Non-Separabilityp. 254
Proposal for a Characterization of Quantum Holism
No Separate Propertiesp. 256
Matter as a Holistic System at the Quantum Levelp. 258
Are Quantum Systems Individuals?p. 260
A Brief Glimpse at Quantum Field Theoryp. 265
The Revision of the Cartesian Tradition in Physicsp. 267
The Extension of Quantum Holism and the Philosophy of Mind
The Measurement Problemp. 273
Is Quantum Holism Universal?
The Many Minds Interpretationp. 279
The Option for Universal Quantum Holismp. 283
Universal Quantum Holism and Cartesian Epistemologyp. 285
Complementarity of Mind and Matter?p. 292
Limited Quantum Holism
Limited Quantum Holism and the Measurement Problemp. 294
Limited Quantum Holism and Reductionismp. 297
A Plea for Cautionp. 300
The Mutual Enrichment of Quantum Holism and Holism in Philosophy of Mind
A Common Conceptual Contentp. 303
Holism, Indeterminacy and Eliminativismp. 307
Holism and Superveniencep. 313
Holism and a New Sort of Realismp. 315
Referencesp. 321
Index of Namesp. 353
Index of Subjectsp. 361
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780792370031
ISBN-10: 0792370031
Series: Synthese Library
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 370
Published: 30th June 2001
Publisher: Springer
Country of Publication: NL
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 1.55