Is Content Holism Incoherent?


Kirk Ludwig





The doctrine of content holism is made precise, and distinguished from related doctrines, such as anatomism and molecularism about content, and meaning holism.  While content holism entails both anatomism with respect to the property of having content, and meaning holism, neither of these latter doctrines entails content holism.  Content holism, which holds that everyone must have a large number of psychological attitudes of any given type whose contents are essentially interrelated, is shown to be self-contradictory in the light our ordinary criterion for individuating attitude contents.  The argument against content holism is defended against objections that its intended force or content has been incorrectly characterized.