David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
What is structuralism? The stock To explain why we should see Quine can translate the natives’ gavagai either as answer is that it is the brainas a structuralist, I would like to revive rabbit or as undetached rabbit’s part, so he child of Ferdinand de his widely discussed thought experican translate his peers’ rabbit either as Saussure, later fostered by Levi-Strauss, ment, featuring a field linguist decipherrabbit or as undetached rabbit’s part. Hence Foucault, Derrida and their allies. But I ing an unknown language spoken by the cultural relativism appears to muthink we have only to confront the ausnatives somewhere in the middle of tate into an “individual relativism”, a terely scientific style of Saussure’s Course nowhere. On hearing the natives exkind of solipsistic skepticism in which de linguistique générale with that of the claiming “Gavagai!” whenever they see a we can be certain neither that we underwritings of the French structuralists to rabbit, the linguist records in his notestand the natives, nor even that we unrecognise an essential discontinuity. The book the tentative translation hypothderstand each other! French philosophers have developed esis gavagai = rabbit. Next, Quine asks us However this is not a conclusion only certain consequences of Saussure’s to imagine another linguist, who, ob- Quine would be willing to draw. He teaching; and, moreover, in a rather nonserving the same behaviour of the same does not say that we cannot understand Saussurean way. natives, proposes the hypothesis gavagai each other (nor even that we cannot un- In my recent book I put forward the = undetached rabbit’s part. Quine then conderstand the natives): that we can is conalternative thesis that the kind of strucsiders ways of deciding which of the tinually testified to by the indubitable turalism advanced by Saussure is in fact two linguists is correct, and concludes, successes of our communication. For present implicitly in the writings of to the astonishment of many readers, Quine, there is no other measure of unpeople not normally associated with the that there is no feasible way to decide; derstanding, save the smoothness and term, namely the (post)analytic phiand hence that both linguists are corfruitfulness of linguistic interaction, the losophers such as Willard Van Orman rect..
|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
Louise M. Antony (2003). Rabbit-Pots and Supernovas : On the Relevance of Psychological Data to Linguistic Theory. In Alex Barber (ed.), Epistemology of Language. Oxford University Press.
O. L. Müller (2004). Echte Ontologische Alternativen. Grazer Philosophische Studien 67 (1):59-99.
John Hawthorne & Daniel Nolan (2006). What Would Teleological Causation Be? In Metaphysical Essays. Oxford University Press.
Gary Kemp (2006). Quine: A Guide for the Perplexed. Continuum International Pub. Group.
Vann McGee (2005). Inscrutability and its Discontents. Noûs 39 (3):397–425.
John R. Welch (2005). Gruesome Predicates. In Roberto Festa, Atocha Aliseda & Jeanne Peijnenburg (eds.), Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities. Rodopi. 129-137.
Robert Williams (2008). Gavagai Again. Synthese 164 (2):235 - 259.
John Robert Gareth Williams (2008). Gavagai Again. Synthese 164 (2):235 - 259.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads6 ( #237,968 of 1,692,175 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #184,284 of 1,692,175 )
How can I increase my downloads?