David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Consider statements like ``Machines will never be able to think'' or ``You cannot turn a cat into a dog''. Many people will find such propositions evident, but we have learned to be cautious. 100 years from now things might look very different; it seems unduly dogmatic to insist on todays opinions as unrevisable points of reference, disallowing future breakthroughs in computer science or biology. The scientific outlook presupposes and enhances a high degree of curiosity and it seems a good idea to generally keep one's meanings flexible so as to master break-downs of everyday understanding induced by unforseen circumstances, science or technology. Such intuitions are at the heart of Quine's philosophy. According to him we find ourselves enmeshed within a web of belief that joins together past and present attitudes, cognitive procedures and evidential tests. The strands show various degrees of coherence and interconnectedness and there are no general rules on how to proceed in case something unexpected happens. Sometimes it is ignored, sometimes it is explained away and sometimes it induces more or less extensive changes in our predictive and behavioural patterns. This seems to be the lesson drawn from the Vienna Circle's battle against metaphysics. Philosophers like Putnam, Kripke and Davidson have, it is true, come up with accounts of meaning, necessity and reality that seriously challenge Quine's indeterminacy of translation and ontological relativity, re-introducing elements of a priori presuppositions and (quasi-)transcendental arguments into philosophical discourse. But - compared to Quine's unrelenting insistence on naturalistic first-level talk - those attempts have a free-floating, speculative touch. Quine refuses to engage in elaborate philosophical constructions designed to block the permanent drift of meaning. His is a truly radical position, admirably suggestive and provocative, to be challenged on its own ground. The untenability of a priori truth is suggested by profound experiences that cannot easily be refuted by arguments purporting to show how some more or less exotic sentences could, after all, be held immune from change.1 If the untenability thesis is to be shaken a more down to earth strategy seems to be called for. It would have to be shown that Quine's radical move entails consequences that are highly unattractive even according to its own standards.
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
H. Hrachovec (2005). Ontological Relativity Considered: Quine on Löwenheim-Skolem, Davidson on Quine. Teorema 24 (2).
Cory Juhl (2009). Analyticity. Routledge.
Donald Hockney (1975). The Bifurcation of Scientific Theories and Indeterminacy of Translation. Philosophy of Science 42 (4):411-427.
Eric J. Loomis (2006). Empirical Equivalence in the Quine-Carnap Debate. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (4):499–508.
Olaf L. Müller (2002). From Within and From Without. Two Perspectives on Analytic Sentences. In Wolfram Hinzen & Hans Rott (eds.), Belief and meaning: Essays at the interface. Deutsche Bibliothek der Wissenschaften.
Stefanie Rocknak (2010). Understanding Quine in Terms of the Aufbau: Another Look at Naturalized Epistemology. In Marcin Milkowski Konrad Talmud-Kaminski (ed.), Beyond Description: Naturalism and Normativity. College Publications.
Jay F. Rosenberg (1967). Synonymy and the Epistemology of Linguistics. Inquiry 10 (1-4):405-420.
G. Ebbs (2011). Carnap and Quine on Truth by Convention. Mind 120 (478):193-237.
Alexander George (2000). On Washing the Fur Without Wetting It: Quine, Carnap, and Analyticity. Mind 109 (433):1-24.
Yemima Ben-menahem (2005). Black, White and Gray: Quine on Convention. Synthese 146 (3):245 - 282.
P. M. S. Hacker (2006). Passing by the Naturalistic Turn: On Quine's Cul-de-Sac. Philosophy 81 (2):231-253.
Scott Soames (forthcoming). David Lewis's Place in Analytic Philosophy. In Barry Loewer & Jonathan Schaffer (eds.), David Lewis. Wiley.
Paul Gregory (2003). Putting the Bite Back Into. Principia 7 (1-2):115-129.
Added to index2010-11-17
Total downloads6 ( #233,499 of 1,679,392 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #183,003 of 1,679,392 )
How can I increase my downloads?