Kuhn's view as expressed in the passage quoted above depends upon meaning holism—the claim that the meanings of terms are interrelated in such a way that changing the meaning of one term results in changes in the meanings of related terms: “To make the transition to Einstein's universe, the whole conceptual web whose strands are space, time, matter, force, and so on, had to be shifted and laid down again on nature whole.”

(source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Is it correct to argue that:

the holism here is referred to the Duhem-Quine thesis, according to which it is impossible to test a scientific hypothesis in isolation, because an empirical test of the hypothesis requires one or more background assumptions (also called auxiliary assumptions or auxiliary hypotheses)

If yes, is it legitimate to say that in the passage below the "parallel" with Quine is referring to the above-mentioned "holism" or holistic thesis?

Early on Kuhn drew a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation (1970a, 202; 1970c, 268). According to the latter, if we are translating one language into another, there are inevitably a multitude of ways of providing a translation that is adequate to the behaviour of the speakers. None of the translations is the uniquely correct one, and in Quine's view there is no such thing as the meaning of the words to be translated.

(source: ibidem)

  • Quine explicitly distinguishes between the holistic underdetermination and the indeterminacy of translation, the former only comes into play after the latter is resolved, i.e. after speakers successfully coordinate their reference. Since the latter does involves "linguistic hypotheses" I suppose there is an analogy, but those are not spellable the way holistic ones are, they are much more "base" and have more to do with ways of acting than with theoretical representations.
    – Conifold
    Jul 21, 2018 at 20:57


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