From a phono-logical point of view: Neutralizing Quine's argument against analyticity

Synthese 150 (1):15-39 (2006)
Abstract
Though largely unnoticed, in “Two Dogmas” Quine himself invokes a distinction: a distinction between logical and analytic truths. Unlike analytic statements equating ‘bachelor’ with ‘unmarried man’, strictly logical tautologies relating two word-tokens of the same word-type, e.g., ‘bachelor’ and ‘bachelor’ are true merely in virtue of basic phonological form, putatively an exclusively non-semantic function of perceptual categorization or brute stimulus behavior. Yet natural language phonemic categorization is not entirely free of interpretive semantic considerations. “Phonemic reductionism” in both its linguistic and behavioral, Newbury Park, CA, Sage Publications, 164–167) guise is false. The semantic basis of phonological equivalence, however, has repercussions vis-à-vis Quine’s critique of analyticity. A consistent rejection of meaning-based equivalencies eliminates not only analyticity, but imposes a form of phonological eliminativism too. Phonological eliminativism is the reductio result of applying Quinean meaning skepticism to the phonological typing of natural language. But unlike analyticity, phonology is presumably not subject to philosophical dismissal. The semantic basis of natural language phonology serves to neutralize Quine’s argument against analyticity: without the semantics of meaning, more than just synonymy is lost; basic phonology must also be forfeited. Let’s begin with the fact that even Quine has to admit that it is possible for two tokens of the same orthographic type to be synonymous, for that much is presupposed by his own account of logical truth. Paul Boghossian
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-004-6253-z
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,300
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Word and Object.W. V. Quine - 1960 - MIT Press.
From a Logical Point of View.W. V. Quine - 1953 - Harvard University Press.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
Meaning and Necessity.Rudolf Carnap - 1947 - University of Chicago Press.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
49 ( #109,708 of 2,193,232 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #59,905 of 2,193,232 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature