David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 164 (2):235 - 259 (2008)
Quine (1960, Word and object. Cambridge, Mass.:MIT Press, ch. 2) claims that there are a variety of equally good schemes for translating or interpreting ordinary talk. ‘Rabbit’ might be taken to divide its reference over rabbits, over temporal slices of rabbits, or undetached parts of rabbits, without significantly affecting which sentences get classified as true and which as false. This is the basis of his famous ‘argument from below’ to the conclusion that there can be no fact of the matter as to how reference is to be divided. Putative counterexamples to Quine’s claim have been put forward in the past (see especially Evans 1975; 1975, Journal of Philosophy, LXXII(13), 343–362. Reprinted in McDowell (Ed.), Gareth Evans: Collected papers. Oxford: Clarendon Press.), and various patches have been suggested (e.g. Wright (1997, The indeterminacy of translation. In C. Wright & B. Hale (Eds.), A companion to the philosophy of language (pp. 397–426). Oxford: Blackwell)). One lacuna in this literature is that one does not find any detailed presentation of what exactly these interpretations are supposed to be. Drawing on contemporary literature on persistence, the present paper sets out detailed semantic treatments for fragments of English, whereby predicates such as ‘rabbit’ divide their reference over four-dimensional continuants (Quine’s rabbits), instantaneous temporal slices of those continuants (Quine’s rabbit-slices) and the simple elements which compose those slices (undetached rabbit parts) respectively. Once we have the systematic interpretations on the table, we can get to work evaluating them.
|Keywords||Inscrutability Gavagai Indeterminacy Reference|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Benjamin Bayer (2007). How Not to Refute Quine: Evaluating Kim's Alternatives to Naturalized Epistemology. Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):473-495.
John R. Welch (2005). Gruesome Predicates. In Roberto Festa, Atocha Aliseda & Jeanne Peijnenburg (eds.), Confirmation, Empirical Progress and Truth Approximation: Essays in Debate with Theo Kuipers. Rodopi. 129-137.
Tsutomu Hosoi & Isao Masuda (1993). A Study of Intermediate Propositional Logics on the Third Slice. Studia Logica 52 (1):15 - 21.
Otávio Bueno (2003). Quine's Double Standard: Undermining the Indispensability Argument Via the Indeterminacy of Reference. Principia 7 (1-2):17-39.
O. L. Müller (2004). Echte Ontologische Alternativen. Grazer Philosophische Studien 67 (1):59-99.
Vann McGee (2005). Inscrutability and its Discontents. Noûs 39 (3):397–425.
Robert Williams (2008). Gavagai Again. Synthese 164 (2):235 - 259.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads6 ( #160,010 of 1,004,450 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #64,617 of 1,004,450 )
How can I increase my downloads?