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)|
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
Joseph Almog, John Perry, Howard K. Wettstein & David Kaplan (eds.) (1989). Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press, USA.
David Armstrong (1980). Identity Through Time. In Peter van Inwagen (ed.), Time and Cause: Essays Presented to Richard Taylor. Reidel. 67-78.
Michael R. Ayers (1974). Individuals Without Sortals. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 4 (1):113 - 148.
M. J. Cresswell (2004). Adequacy Conditions for Counterpart Theory. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (1):28 – 41.
D. Davidson (1977). Reality Without Reference. Dialectica 31 (1):247--53.
Citations of this work BETA
Robert Williams (2008). The Price of Inscrutability. Noûs 42 (4):600 - 641.
A. J. Cotnoir (2013). Parts as Counterparts. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (3):228-241.
J. R. G. Williams (2008). The Price of Inscrutability. Noûs 42 (4):600 - 641.
Similar books and articles
Vann McGee (2005). Inscrutability and its Discontents. Noûs 39 (3):397–425.
O. L. Müller (2004). Echte Ontologische Alternativen. Grazer Philosophische Studien 67 (1):59-99.
Matti Eklund (2010). Vagueness and Second-Level Indeterminacy. In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic. Oup Oxford.
Otávio Bueno (2003). Quine's Double Standard: Undermining the Indispensability Argument Via the Indeterminacy of Reference. Principia 7 (1-2):17-39.
Tsutomu Hosoi & Isao Masuda (1993). A Study of Intermediate Propositional Logics on the Third Slice. Studia Logica 52 (1):15 - 21.
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.
Benjamin Bayer (2007). How Not to Refute Quine: Evaluating Kim's Alternatives to Naturalized Epistemology. Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):473-495.
Robert Williams (2008). Gavagai Again. Synthese 164 (2):235 - 259.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads8 ( #167,561 of 1,098,129 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #112,729 of 1,098,129 )
How can I increase my downloads?