David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophia 39 (1):51-59 (2011)
Some of Quine’s critics charge that he arrives at a behavioristic account of linguistic meaning by starting from inappropriately behavioristic assumptions (Kripke 1982, 14; Searle 1987, 123). Quine has even written that this account of linguistic meaning is a consequence of his behaviorism (Quine 1992, 37). I take it that the above charges amount to the assertion that Quine assumes the denial of one or more of the following claims: (1) Language-users associate mental ideas with their linguistic expressions. (2) A language-user can have a private theory of linguistic meaning which guides his or her use of language. (3) Language learning relies on innate mechanisms. Call an antecedent denial of one or more of these claims illicit behaviorism. In this paper I show that Quine is prepared to grant, if only for the sake of argument, all three of the above claims. I argue that his claim that there is nothing in linguistic meaning beyond what is to be gleaned from overt behavior in observable circumstances is unscathed by these allowances (Quine 1992, 38). And I show that the behaviorism which Quine does assume should be viewed as a largely uncontroversial aspect of his evidential empiricism. I conclude that if one sets out to dismiss Quine’s arguments for internal-meaning skepticism, this dismissal should not be motivated by the charge that his conclusions rely on the illicitly behavioristic assumptions that some have suggested that they do
|Keywords||Quine Indeterminacy Meaning Behaviorism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Rudolf Carnap (1955). Meaning and Synonymy in Natural Languages. Philosophical Studies 6 (3):33 - 47.
Peter Hylton (2007). Quine. Routledge.
Saul A. Kripke (1982). Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. Harvard University Press.
W. V. Quine (1969). Epistemology Naturalized. In Ontological Relativity and Other Essays. New York: Columbia University Press.
W. V. Quine (1968). Ontological Relativity. Journal of Philosophy 65 (7):185-212.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Robert Sinclair (2009). Why Quine is Not an Externalist. Journal of Philosophical Research 34:279-304.
Willard V. Quine (1980). Sellars on Behaviorism, Language, and Meaning. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 61 (January-April):26-30.
Carrie L. Hull (2003). Poststructuralism, Behaviorism and the Problem of Hate Speech. Philosophy and Social Criticism 29 (5):517-535.
M. McDermott (2001). Quine's Holism and Functionalist Holism. Mind 110 (440):977-1025.
Itay Shani (2005). Intension and Representation: Quine's Indeterminacy Thesis Revisited. Philosophical Psychology 18 (4):415 – 440.
Donald Hockney (1975). The Bifurcation of Scientific Theories and Indeterminacy of Translation. Philosophy of Science 42 (4):411-427.
Dag Prawitz (1994). Quine and Verificationism. Inquiry 37 (4):487 – 494.
Sam Leigland (2004). Pragmatism and Radical Behaviorism: Comments on Malone (2001). Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):305 - 312.
Byeong-Uk Yi (2008). A New Case for Indeterminacy Of Translation. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 39:283-289.
Olaf Mueller (1998). Does the Quine/Duhem Thesis Prevent Us From Defining Analyticity? Erkenntnis 48 (1):85-104.
Harold Morick (1972). Challenges to Empiricism. Belmont, Calif.,Wadsworth Pub. Co..
Alexander George (2004). Linguistic Practice and its Discontents: Quine and Davidson on the Source of Sense. Philosophers' Imprint 4 (1):1-37.
Philip A. Glotzbach (1983). Referential Inscrutablility, Perception, and the Empirical Foundation of Meaning. Philosophy Research Archives 9:535-569.
H. G. Callaway (2003). The Esoteric Quine? Belief Attribution and the Significance of the Indeterminacy Thesis in Quine’s Kant Lectures. In , W.V. Quine, Wissenschaft und Empfindung. Frommann-Holzboog.
Manfred Kupffer (2008). An Unintentional Defense of the Indeterminacy of Meaning? Erkenntnis 68 (2):225 - 238.
Added to index2010-11-18
Total downloads64 ( #27,566 of 1,413,434 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #23,652 of 1,413,434 )
How can I increase my downloads?