Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Inscrutability, philosophy: the inscrutability of reference is an expression by W.V.O. Quine (Quine, “Word and Object”, 1960) for the problem that - even in a particular situation - it cannot be determined in principle to which object the use of an expression refers. See also uncertainty of translation, Gavagai, indeterminacy, reference, translation, pointing, ostension.

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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
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NS I 76
Inscrutability/Gavagai/Quine/Newen/Schrenk: 1. inscrutability of reference: E.g. non-severed rabbit parts fulfil the same observation situations. - 2. inscrutability of translation: E.g. non-severed rabbit parts: can a) "be the same" b) "be part of the same thing". In each case in the foreign language. That is proceeding the inscrutability of reference - 3. underdetermination (if a theory) by the data: (corresponds to the translation inscrutability): there may be rival theories that fit to the same set of observations - VsQuine:. it never comes to radical translations because many aspects of the language are evolutionarily formalized in the brain and cannot vary greatly -. (ChomskyVsQuine) - Then there is only the 3. inscrutability.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-08-21