Inscrutability of Reference
Richard Rorty gives credit to Quine for demolishing the myth that linguistic phrases have well determined reference. If Quine truly intended to discredit such beliefs he would have argued differently from what he actually said. He would have to realize that he adopts the anti-realist position and consequently he would have to modify his behaviorist conception of language. He would have had to admit that we could perceive, identify and name various objects before we were able to make use of highly advanced linguistic instruments such as personal pronouns and the plural form of nouns. Such assumptions cannot be found, however, in Quine's writings.
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