David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 42 (4):411-427 (1975)
In this essay I present a statement of Quine's indeterminacy thesis in its general form. It is shown that the thesis is not about difficulties peculiar to so-called "radical translation." It is a general thesis about meaning and reference with important consequences for any theory of our theories and beliefs. It is claimed that the thesis is inconsistent with Quine's realism, his doctrine of the relativity of reference, and that the argument for the thesis has the consequence that the concept of stimulus meaning is empty. The sense in which linguistic science, as a branch of behavioral science, is "part of physics" is discussed. An alternative to Quine's view of the nature and content of linguistic science is proposed. It is shown to be consistent with Quine's assumptions concerning the legitimate scope of behavioral science and not to involve the notions of analyticity, synonymy and "prevalent attitudes toward meaning, idea and proposition" (, p. 304) rejected by Quine
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Bengt‐Olof Qvarnström (1986). Quine's Theory of Observation Sentence Understanding and His Inscrutability Thesis. Dialectica 40 (2):107-120.
Similar books and articles
Roger F. Gibson (1986). Quine's Dilemma. Synthese 69 (1):27 - 39.
Günter Abel (1994). Indeterminacy and Interpretation. Inquiry 37 (4):403 – 419.
Panu Raatikainen (2005). On How to Avoid the Indeterminacy of Translation. Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (3):395-413.
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
Jay F. Rosenberg (1967). Synonymy and the Epistemology of Linguistics. Inquiry 10 (1-4):405-420.
Patrick Wilson (1965). Quine on Translation. Inquiry 8 (1-4):198 – 211.
Carlos Lopez Losada (2002). La Ultima Nocion De Significado Estimular De Quine. Theoria 17 (1):113-135.
Forrai (1999). Are Quine’s Two Indeterminacy Theses Compatible? Acta Analytica 14 (23.):89-99..
Itay Shani (2005). Intension and Representation: Quine's Indeterminacy Thesis Revisited. Philosophical Psychology 18 (4):415 – 440.
Ian McDiarmid (2008). Underdetermination and Meaning Indeterminacy: What is the Difference? [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 69 (3):279 - 293.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads34 ( #112,908 of 1,790,225 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #199,515 of 1,790,225 )
How can I increase my downloads?