Ontological Relativity in Quine and Davidson

Grazer Philosophische Studien 36 (1):157-178 (1989)

Authors
Jeff Malpas
University of Tasmania
Abstract
According to Quine the inscrutability of reference leads to ontological relativity, or, as Donald Davidson calls it, relativity of reference. Davidson accepts both inscrutability and the indeterminacy of translation which it grounds, but rejects any explicit relativity of reference or ontology. The reasons behind this rejection are set out and explained. Explicit relativization is shown to be at odds with indeterminacy. Some notion of the relativity of reference (or, more generally, interpretation) is nevertheless shown to be both possible and necessary. It is, however, a relativity which is compatible with commensurability — the idea of absolute incommeasurability is ruled out along with the realist ideal of universal commensuration — as well as with indeterminacy. The indeterminacy thesis itself undergoes some slight elaboration, particularly in respect of the notion of empirical equivalence. In general the resulting account is one which retains both the absolute character of truth and some sense of the relativity of ontology against the background of Davidsonian holism
Keywords Analytic Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0165-9227
DOI 10.5840/gps19893625
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,179
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Ontological Relativity Considered: Quine on Löwenheim-Skolem, Davidson on Quine.H. Hrachovec - 2005 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 24 (2).
Echte Ontologische Alternativen.Olaf L. Müller - 2004 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 67 (1):59-99.
Quine and the Correspondence Theory.Hartry Field - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (2):200-228.
The Ontological Significance of Inscrutability.Matti Eklund - 2007 - Philosophical Topics 35 (1-2):115-134.
The Ontology of General Relativity.Gustavo E. Romero - forthcoming - In M. Novello & S. E. Perez Bergliaffa (eds.), General Relativity and Gravitation. Cambridge University Press.
Ontological Relativity.W. V. Quine - 1968 - Journal of Philosophy 65 (7):185-212.
The Indeterminacy of Translation and the Inscrutability of Reference.Scott Soames - 1999 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 29 (3):321-370.
Radical Quotation and Real Repetition.David Roden - 2004 - Ratio 17 (2):191–206.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-04-04

Total views
52 ( #169,440 of 2,285,434 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #129,565 of 2,285,434 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature