Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Terminology Tuesday: Holism

Holism: A term used in epistemology for theories of meaning and justification that emphasize systematic interconnections. Theories that view meaning as determined by the relations that concepts have to each other, rather than by the referential relation of language to extralinguistic reality, are often called holistic. Coherentist, nonfoundationalist accounts of justification are also referred to as holistic. In both cases the image of a web is often used, with meaning or justification said to be a function of the place occupied in the web of concepts or web of beliefs.1

1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), pp. 55.