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indeterminacy of translation

Subject: Philosophy

The doctrine of Quine unveiled in ch. 2 of Word and Object, that the totality of subjects' behaviour leaves it indeterminate whether one translation of their sayings or another is correct. ...

translation, indeterminacy of

translation, indeterminacy of   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
673 words

..., indeterminacy of . W. V. Quine argued that there are no uniquely correct translations between languages. This is not the banal point that languages contain words with no precise equivalents in others, but the extraordinary claim that there is no such thing, ever, as a uniquely correct translation of a word . It forms part of Quine's argument that ‘there is no objective matter to be right or wrong about’ where the meaning of words is concerned ( Word and Object , 73), and it has implications in the philosophy of mind: if words have no meaning,...

indeterminacy of translation

indeterminacy of translation   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
310 words

... of translation The doctrine of Quine unveiled in ch. 2 of Word and Object , that the totality of subjects’ behaviour leaves it indeterminate whether one translation of their sayings or another is correct. Since there is nothing more than the totality of behaviour to fix one interpretation as the true one, the very notion of a determinately correct interpretation, or equivalently a single meaning that their sayings have, is undermined. Quine argued for his thesis ‘from below’ by pointing out that consistently with what we see of someone’s...

indeterminacy of translation

indeterminacy of translation  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
The doctrine of Quine unveiled in ch. 2 of Word and Object, that the totality of subjects' behaviour leaves it indeterminate whether one translation of their sayings or another is correct. Since ...
indeterminacy of meaning

indeterminacy of meaning  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
A thesis advanced by W. V. Quine on the basis of his famous argument for the indeterminacy of translation. Meaning is what we aim to preserve in translating between languages ...
inscrutability of reference

inscrutability of reference  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
The doctrine due to Quine that no empirical evidence relevant to interpreting a speaker's utterances can decide among alternative and incompatible ways of assigning referents to the words used; hence ...
radical translation

radical translation  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
The same process as radical interpretation, but the term even more notably implies that the process is entirely to be thought of in terms of translation; whereas in principle a language can come to ...
radical interpretation

radical interpretation  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
The process of interpreting a foreign language without reliance on existing linguistic knowledge or help from bilinguals. The term is sometimes used as if it applied to any process of coming to ...
scriptible

scriptible  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
[scrip‐teebl]A term used by the French critic Roland Barthes in his book S/Z (1970), and usually translated as ‘writerly’. In contrast with the easily readable or ‘readerly’ text (textelisible), the ...
indeterminacy

indeterminacy  

Unpredictability in outcome, because a very large number of interrelated factors are involved and/or because understanding of the particular system is still quite limited.
metaphysics of presence

metaphysics of presence  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
Term originally used by Heidegger to characterize the central mistake of western metaphysics. In his vision, metaphysics from Plato to Nietzsche postulates a self-knowing and self-propelling ...
reader-response theory

reader-response theory  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
A view of literary interpretation associated with the American critic Stanley Fish. It holds that meaning does not reside in the text, but in the mind of the reader. The text functions only as a ...
meaning

meaning  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
Whatever it is that makes what would otherwise be mere sounds and inscriptions into instruments of communication and understanding. The philosophical problem is to demystify this power, and to relate ...
synonym

synonym  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
A word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language, for example shut is a synonym of close.
W. V. O. Quine

W. V. O. Quine  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
(1908–2000)US philosopher, logician, and radical critic of modern empiricism.Born at Akron, Ohio, Quine was educated at Oberlin and Harvard, where he completed his PhD under the supervision of A. N. ...
Donald Davidson

Donald Davidson  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
(1917–2003).American philosopher who developed a widely admired and influential theory of mind and language. Davidson's deepest influence was Quine, with whom he shared a commitment to the ...
Schrödinger's cat

Schrödinger's cat  

Celebrated animal introduced by the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger (1887–1961) in 1935, in a thought experiment showing the strange nature of the world of quantum mechanics. The cat is thought ...
translation

translation  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
The provision of an expression in one language meaning the same as that of another. In so far as different languages reflect different cultural and social histories, because of the holism of meaning, ...
idea

idea  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
(Greek, eidos, visible form)A notion stretching all the way from one pole, where it denotes a subjective, internal presence in the mind, somehow thought of as representing something about the world, ...
ethnology

ethnology  

(eth-nol-ŏji)the study of the different races of mankind, concerned mainly with cultural and social differences between groups and the problems that arise from their particular ways of life.—ethnic ...
proposition

proposition  

1 The meaning conveyed by a declarative sentence, a declarative sentence being one that asserts or denies something, or in other words one that is capable of being true or false. The proposition is ...

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