Abstract

One central strand in Quine's criticism of common‐sense notions of linguistic meaning is an argument from the holism of empirical content. This paper explores (with many digressions) the several versions of the argument, and discovers them to be uniformly bad. There is a kernel of truth in the idea that ‘holism’, in some sense, ‘undermines the analytic–synthetic distinction’, in some sense; but it has little to do with Quine's radical empiricism, or his radical scepticism about meaning.

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