The new Riddle of radical translation

Philosophy of Science 41 (3):227-246 (1974)
This paper presents parts of a theory of radical translation with applications to the problem of construing reference. First, in sections 1 to 4 the general standpoint, inspired by Goodman's approach to induction, is set forth. Codification of sound translational practice replaces the aim of behavioral reduction of semantic notions. The need for a theory of translational projection (manual construction on the basis of a finite empirical correlation of sentences) is established by showing the anomalies otherwise resulting (e.g. from Quine's position). Then in section 5 a partial characterization of what constitutes an "admissible translation manual" is developed in the form of rules of translational projection governing correspondence of sentence-parts of a language-pair. Finally, in section 6, we give applications of the theory to the problem of construing reference. The general rules of section 5 suffice to rule out deviant referential schemes which have been held inscrutable alternatives to standard schemes
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DOI 10.1086/288591
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