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Pragmatism with PurposeSelected Writings$
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Peter Hare, Joseph Palencik, Douglas Anderson, and Steven A. Miller

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264322

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264322.001.0001

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Thickening Holistic Pragmatism

Thickening Holistic Pragmatism

(p.132) Eight Thickening Holistic Pragmatism
Pragmatism with Purpose

Peter Hare

Fordham University Press

This chapter discusses what it calls “thickening holistic pragmatism.” In 1951, W. V. Quine introduced a thin holism in “Two Dogmas of Empiricism.” This was followed by a historical process in which investigators have thickened his holistic web. Fierce critics of holism have often done as much to thicken holism as avid supporters. However, increased thickness must not be identified with more extreme holism. Henry Jackman, for example, achieves greater thickness by moderating semantic holism. The chapter examines the contextualism of Jackman's moderate holism and how the philosophical understanding of holism has “thickened” since the middle of the nineteenth century. It also considers the exchange between Quine and Morton White as an example of how holistic pragmatism can be thickened, with particular emphasis on White's reaction to Quine's modification of Pierre Duhem's holism.

Keywords:   holistic pragmatism, W. V. Quine, thin holism, holism, Henry Jackman, Morton White, Pierre Duhem

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