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Word and Object (Studies in Communication) (English Edition)
 
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Word and Object (Studies in Communication) (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Willard Van Orman Quine

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Présentation de l'éditeur

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 Quine
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 repudiating 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 conducted.


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Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5  7 commentaires
54 internautes sur 59 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A CLASSIC OF "ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY" 20 février 2001
Par The philosopher - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This is one of the great books of 20th-century philosophy, with page after page of brilliant arguments. Although Quine had an understated wit and a gracefully economic style, this is not an easy book. I would not tackle it without some training in philosophy, logic, or linguistics. Particularly useful would be some understanding of logical positivism, which Quine is reacting against.
The book's motivating question is how a word (or words) can refer to an object or be used to pick out an object. This might seem to be a narrow topic, but it leads Quine to discuss a large number of epistemological, logical, and metaphysical issues. Quine's conclusions in these areas were so novel and profound that decades later philosophers are still digesting them.
Was Quine right about everything? Surely not, but like all great philosophers, he made us look at the old issues in new ways and made us aware of problems which we hadn't known had existed. For this we can be profoundly grateful.
Willard Van Ormen Quine died 25 December 2000.
19 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Pinnacle of Philosophical Clarity 19 juin 2001
Par C. Gardner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This book is a true classic, both in content and presentation; Quine's pithy style, sometimes ironic, is singular in analytic philosophy. This book describes the generation of reference and logical categories out of the confluence of "sense-data" and "stimulus synonymy," answering with consistency many perennial questions in ontology and epistemology in the process. Chapter two (the infamous "indeterminacy of translation" thesis) is a fascinating linguistic reformulation of the "other minds" problem, demonstrating that one must conclude a type of "ontological relativity" amongst speakers. Along with Wittgenstein's "Philosophical Investigations," Ryle's The Concept of Mind," and Sellars' "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind," Quine's magnum opus completes the quadrivium of mid-20th century analytic philosophy which together rang the death-knell of Cartesianism.
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Seminal Book in Contemporary Pragmatism 14 novembre 2005
Par Thomas J. Hickey - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This book is Quine's first full-length book, and it sets forth his most elaborate statement of his wholistic thesis of language. Instead of the metaphorical statement in "Two Dogmas" written a decade earlier, here in Word and Object Quine expresses his thesis in the literal vocabulary of behavioristic psychology with his idea of "stimulus meaning".

Much of the book is an exposition of his thesis of semantic indeterminacy as it is manifested in translation between languages, which thus appears as his indeterminacy of translation thesis sometimes called his "radical translation" thesis. In fact there is nothing radical about it; linguists have long known of such translation problems. As has long been said: traduttore,traditore. But Quine uses it to critique positivism, and it is essential to his pragmatism.

In the translation situation he portrays the field linguist in the same situation that the positivist Carnap postulates in "Meaning and Synonymy in Natural Language", where Carnap attempted to describe how the field linguist can ascertain a term's "intension" or meaning by identifying its extension or range of application from the observed behavior of native speakers of an unknown language. Carnap admitted that this determination of extension involves uncertainty and possible error due to vagueness, but he excused this uncertainty and risk of error, because it occurs even in the concepts used in empirical science. While this admission of extensional vagueness in science made the fact unproblematic for Carnap, it had just the opposite significance for Quine.

For Quine extensional vagueness is an inherent characteristic of language that he calls "referential inscrutability", and which he later calls "ontological relativity." And what Carnap called intensional vagueness, Quine prefers to consider as a semantical indeterminacy in stimulus meaning but without admitting intensions.

For more on my views on Quine I refer interested readers to my ebook Twentieth-Century Philosophy of Science: A History, which is also on my web site philsci with free downloads by chapter - especially BOOK III, and my other reviews of Quine's books at this AMAZON site. See also my ebook Twentieth-Century Philosophy of Science: A History.

Thomas J. Hickey
12 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Pinnacle of Philosophical Clarity 19 juin 2001
Par C. Gardner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This book is a true classic, both in content and presentation; Quine's pithy style, sometimes ironic, is singular in the literature of analytic philosophy. This book describes the generation of reference and logical categories out of the confluence of "sense-data" and "stimulus synonymy", and proceeds to plow through every permutation of problems which can arise from such an endeavor. Chapter two (the [in-]famous "indeterminacy of translation" thesis) is a fascinating linguistic reformulation of the "other minds" problem, demonstrating that one must conclude a type of "ontological relativity" amongst speakers. Along with Wittgenstein's "Philosophical Investigations," Ryle's The Concept of Mind," and Sellars' "Philosophy and the Empiricism of Mind," Quine's major work completes the quadrivium of mid-20th century analytic philosophy.
13 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An Essential Read for Philosophy of Language Enthusiasts 29 décembre 2002
Par Jack Arnold - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
In this incomparable and engaging book Quine takes up many of the questions he raised in "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" and in his other early papers. In Word and Object, he levels an attack against the traditional notion of meaning that is accepted by so many, because it is understood by so few. Though the position defended here is alomost completely wrong, it is wrong for interesting reasons and, along with Quine's other works, establishes a position regarding matters semantic that, from his ultra-empiricist positivist perspective is nearly inevitable. If you don't find his position at least a little compelling, then your heart is made of stone.
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