Review of Hans-Johann Glock,, Quine and Davidson on Language, Thought and Reality [Book Review]

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2003 (11) (2003)
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Glock’s most recent book is a critical examination of the views of Quine and Davidson. One of the novel features of the book that will prove helpful to most readers is Glock’s comparative treatment of the two. Glock not only thoroughly articulates their views, he also points out significant differences between their basic assumptions and between the goals driving their various projects. For example, Glock compares Quine’s ’radical translation’ project with Davidson’s ’radical interpretation’ project, pointing out interesting differences in assumptions and purposes. Another unusual feature of the book is that Glock is himself fundamentally at odds with both Quine and Davidson, and holds views that are broadly Witttgensteinian. Thus, unlike most extant books on Quine and Davidson, Glock’s strives to make manifest various weaknesses of their arguments and views, rather than to show how they can be salvaged from what would appear to be devastating criticisms. However, while fundamentally critical, Glock’s book is not particularly polemical. He clearly and forcefully presents the views that he criticizes and defends positions of his protagonists from criticisms that he takes to be off-target or unfair.



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Cory Juhl
University of Texas at Austin

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