Ontological Relativity and Other Essays [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 23 (4):747-748 (1970)

The title essay was originally presented as two lectures inaugurating the John Dewey lectures at Columbia. It is an important essay for understanding Quine's work for it brings together many themes at the center of his thinking since Word and Object. Quine quotes with approval Dewey's statement "meaning is primarily a property of behavior" and then goes on to consider a thesis which, according to Quine, is a consequence of such a behavioral theory of meaning, i.e., the thesis of the indeterminacy of meaning and translation. Quine relates this indeterminacy thesis, which he has been defending for some time, to language learning, the foundations of mathematics, and to a general view of ontological relativity. Other essays in the volume concern natural kinds and the various paradoxes of confirmation, propositional objects, quantification and existence and the empirical basis of science. All the essays are post-1965 except the introductory essay which was Quine's Presidential Address to the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in 1956. This address was something of an introduction to the ideas to appear in Word and Object and is placed at the beginning of this collection to emphasize that all the essays collected here expand on and defend some of the positions of Word and Object. Quine's fluid style is everywhere in evidence.--R. H. K.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph197023483
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Ontological Commitment and Quantifiers.T. Parent - forthcoming - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York: Routledge.
Moralidade, Justificação E Coerência.Denis Coitinho - 2015 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 56 (132):557-582.
Hilary Putnam on the Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics.José Miguel Sagüillo - 2018 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 33 (2):183-200.

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