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Cartwright on wholism

Esfeld, Michael (2007) Cartwright on wholism. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This paper proposes a critical examination of the wholism that Cartwright contemplates. The first part spells out the consequences of this position – notably our principled ignorance of nature as a whole. The second part considers that physical theory which is widely claimed to exhibit some sort of wholism, namely quantum physics. I sketch a wholistic model of quantum physics and compare this model to the wholism that Cartwright considers. The result is that – contrary to what Cartwright suggests – we do not have to see ourselves as being ignorant of nature as such and our scientific view of nature can be quite systematic instead of being a patchwork. Finally, Cartwright’s wholism is confronted with confirmation wholism and semantic wholism. The result is again that these sorts of wholism speak against a patchwork view of our knowledge.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
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Esfeld, Michael
Keywords: Cartwright, fundamentalism, holism, quantum mechanics
Subjects: General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Depositing User: Michael Esfeld
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:15
Item ID: 3399
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3399

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