Synthese 164 (2):235-259 (2008)

Abstract
Quine (1960, Word and object. Cambridge, Mass.:MIT Press, ch. 2) claims that there are a variety of equally good schemes for translating or interpreting ordinary talk. ‘Rabbit’ might be taken to divide its reference over rabbits, over temporal slices of rabbits, or undetached parts of rabbits, without significantly affecting which sentences get classified as true and which as false. This is the basis of his famous ‘argument from below’ to the conclusion that there can be no fact of the matter as to how reference is to be divided. Putative counterexamples to Quine’s claim have been put forward in the past (see especially Evans 1975; 1975, Journal of Philosophy, LXXII(13), 343–362. Reprinted in McDowell (Ed.), Gareth Evans: Collected papers. Oxford: Clarendon Press.), and various patches have been suggested (e.g. Wright (1997, The indeterminacy of translation. In C. Wright & B. Hale (Eds.), A companion to the philosophy of language (pp. 397–426). Oxford: Blackwell)). One lacuna in this literature is that one does not find any detailed presentation of what exactly these interpretations are supposed to be. Drawing on contemporary literature on persistence, the present paper sets out detailed semantic treatments for fragments of English, whereby predicates such as ‘rabbit’ divide their reference over four-dimensional continuants (Quine’s rabbits), instantaneous temporal slices of those continuants (Quine’s rabbit-slices) and the simple elements which compose those slices (undetached rabbit parts) respectively. Once we have the systematic interpretations on the table, we can get to work evaluating them.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Language   Metaphysics   Epistemology   Logic
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-007-9224-3
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,089
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 81 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Parts as Counterparts.Aaron Cotnoir - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (3):228-241.
The Price of Inscrutability.J. R. G. Williams - 2008 - Noûs 42 (4):600 - 641.
Can Semantics Guide Ontology?Katherine Ritchie - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):24-41.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Non-Cooperation in Dialogue Logic.Dov Gabbay & John Woods - 2001 - Synthese 127 (1-2):161 - 186.
Review of "Gavagai" by David Premack.Stephen Walker - 1987 - Mind and Language 2 (4):326-332.
Problems of Philosophy Problem #12: Epistemology From a Strategic Viewpoint.[author unknown] - 1998 - Synthese 116 (1):113-113.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
105 ( #110,171 of 2,499,034 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #278,516 of 2,499,034 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes