Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Gavagai: fantasy word from a thought experiment of W.V.O. Quine. An expression (or fragment) of a completely foreign language is not unambiguously translatable into a known language, because it is not determined, whereupon the expression of the foreign language relates. Even pointing to an object does not create unambiguity. E.g. only a part or a property of the object can be referred to. See also translation, indeterminacy, translation manual, analytical hypothesis, uncertainty, reference, meaning.
 
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I 84
Gavagai / EvansVsQuine: his proposal, to interpret rabbits as unseparated rabbit parts has the consequence that what is always true of a unseparated rabbit part, also is true of another unseparated part of that rabbit - then there are no limits to vagueness - the price of denying that is to make the identification of predicates empirically unlimited - this also applies to the attribution of actions.

Pea I
Chr. R. Peacocke
Sense and Content Oxford 1983


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-05-29