WILLARD VAN ORMAN QUINE: THE INDETERMINACY THESIS
The aim of the paper is to give a partial but systematic account of Willard van Orman Quine's philosophical work. At the beginning the influence of neopositivism on Quine's philosophical attitude is sketched and the role that the criticism of the analytic-synthetic dichotomy played in the development of modern empiricism is shown. These and other issues are seen in the context of the doctrine of the indeterminacy of translation, which is the main topic of the paper. The most important consequences of the radical translation experiment are discussed, especially ontological relativity, the indeterminacy of translation and Quine's criticism of traditional semantical concepts. In the context of the empirical underdetermination thesis, the ontological character of the indeterminacy of translation is displayed. In the last part of the paper, physicalism and the assumption of the universal translatability of languages are also briefly discussed. The assumption made implicitly by Quine exemplifies his anti-relativistic standpoint.
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