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Word and Object free read é 106 â Language consists of dispositions socially instilled to respond observably to socially observable stimuli Such is the point of view from which a noted philosopher and logician examines the notion of meaning and the linguistic mechanisms of objective reference In the course of the discussion Professor uine pinpoints Language consists of dispositions socially instilled to respond observably to socially observable stimuli Such is the point of view from which a noted philosopher and logician examines the notion of meaning and the linguistic mechanisms of objective reference In the course of the disc. Word and Object is a masterpiece in modern philosophy and as I worked through it I was struck by how much contemporary discussions in the domain make when I have uine for context The book sets up a number of the problems that uine poses for historical views in philosophy of language like problems with vagueness and translation and then uine offers an alternative account of how to develop a highly naturalized philosophical programme The book has passages that are a bit dated where good responses to uine have been developed but that is pretty normal and the fact that those responses are available and have implications for the views they were meant to defend is very important and very usefulMany people are ultimately just not able to accept uine's positions or even his critiues of many arguments but the reasons that we find ourselves unable to accept portions of uine unacceptable are important too Are we committed to the idea that translation between languages and idiolects has to be possible Why In finding our reasons for rejecting parts of uine we learn a lot about the role of our positions in our larger views about philosophyThe book is excellently written though a bit convoluted in some places and a bit excessively technical in others The majority of the book is lucid insightful and engaging even to those outside of philosophy Those interested in linguistics and the role of philosophy in interacting with semantics and approaches to translation will get a lot out of uine and hopefully understand some of the eccentricities of modern philosophical approaches to semantics and their relation to logic features of the philosophical landscape that may seem odd given their stark contrast to conventional views in linguistics advanced by Chomsky and even a number of philosophers like Montague laterI recommend the book to those interested in philosophy of language and metaphysics though the angle on language is especially useful It should probably be used as an introductory text for those getting into the discipline despite the philosophical jargon that rides heavily on the later sections

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G each of various categories of supposed objects He argues that the notion of a language transcendent sentence meaning must on the whole be rejected; meaningful studies in the semantics of reference can only be directed toward substantially the same language in which they are conducte. I know that this is supposed to be a classic of analytic philosophy but two things about the book really irked me 1 The practice of so called radical translation while interesting takes as a model of science a sort of laboratory condition that not only does not match actual linguistic anthropology something uine would no doubt grant but cannot in principle match any anthropological practice and 2 even if one leaves aside the tremendously huge behavioristic assumptions of his account of the ontogenesis of language one still has to grapple with the fact that uine makes a huge leap from giving a description of how he takes it that language use has to arise to a normative account of the logical structure of language It's this sort of sleight of hand that allows him to give his theory of language a stronger grounding than his own nominalism should allow And analytics accuse us continentals of rhetorical cheap tricks

Willard Van Orman Quine ó 6 summary

Word and ObjectUssion Professor uine pinpoints the difficulties involved in translation brings to light the anomalies and conflicts implicit in our language's referential apparatus clarifies semantic problems connected with the imputation of existence and marshals reasons for admitting or repudiatin. I don't think I am familiar enough with formal logic and the various debates uine is engaged in to evaluate his claims with any confidence but I nonetheless found this a fascinating read The opening section on linguisticstranslation is great It is one of the detailed and thought out explications of a line of reasoning I am inclined to agree with and provides a great resource for thinking about the vagaries of language I would love to read criticisms of his conclusions there but I think even with Chomsky considerations at play they seem solid The middlelate sections which dive into symbolicformal logic were challenging for me and I am hesitant to latch onto the parts I do understand without always grasping his preceding arguments That being said they are damn thought provoking conclusions I am unsure exactly how far they go beyond Wittgenstein How much is the difference between them about their moral stance on the value of careful conceptual clarification surrounding abstraction I would need to understand both better to say for sure but I am inclined to think they don't have that much substantive disagreement uine's picture of philosophy seems similarly narrow as Wittgenstein's and I would be curious to hear his arguments for why philosophers have the ability to offer conceptual clarification in field practitioners do not Is the answer just that philosophy is the field where research can be devoted to such uestions There are moments where his skepticism about truthscience seem radical and I am unsure exactly what his commitments are Does he believe theory improvement in logicmathscience can go on indefinitely Or will we reach points of diminishing returns And does that suggest we are approaching a metaphysical truth or simply the limits of what the human cognitive apparatus can handle Further why is it that humans are able to understand what they do about sciencemathlogic This is where Chomskycog sci like with Wittgenstein could perhaps play a larger role Anyway I'm sure there is lots of room for argument about the various stances uine takes on specific issues of ontologylogic and I would love to learn about them I know there is also disagreement on uine's larger positions and I also want to understand those arguments better because uine seems awfully persuasiveEdit Upon partial second read along with some of uine's other papers I felt like my understanding was much better though still far from complete It seems to me that uine relies too much on behaviorist assumptions to get to his radical translation thesis and the ontological relativity he develops is thereby perhaps overstated But I still felt broadly in agreement with him and think I have a greater appreciation for how carefully he militates evidence against systematic theorizing about meaning I'm less sure now about what exactly he is trying to say about reference See review of secondary source for info