Intension and representation: Quine's indeterminacy thesis revisited

Philosophical Psychology 18 (4):415 – 440 (2005)
Authors
Abstract
This paper re-addresses Quine's indeterminacy of translation/inscrutability of reference thesis, as a problem for cognitive theories of content. In contradistinction with Quine's behavioristic semantics, theories of meaning, or content, in the cognitivist tradition endorse intentional realism, and are prone to be unsympathetic to Quine's thesis. Yet, despite this fundamental difference, I argue that they are just as vulnerable to the indeterminacy. I then argue that the vulnerability is rooted in a theoretical commitment tacitly shared with Quine, namely, the commitment to the view that the perceptual input to the cognitive system is extensional - differentiating objects, but not the aspects (or, properties) they manifest. Thus, input extensionalism, and not behaviorism, is what forces the indeterminacy. I conclude by suggesting that the solution to Quine's indeterminacy problem hinges on the elaboration of an intensional theory of perceptual input, and of content in general.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515080500229878
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: 33,755
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Word and Object.W. V. Quine - 1960 - MIT Press.
The Language of Thought.Jerry A. Fodor - 1975 - Harvard University Press.

View all 40 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
68 ( #90,538 of 2,263,140 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #380,604 of 2,263,140 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature