Quine's views on meaning and translation as presented in his articles “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” and “Translation and Meaning”


Essay, 2007

8 Pages, Grade: 1


Excerpt

Table of content

1. Structure

2. Quine’s views on meaning and translation
2.1. Two Dogmas of Empiricism
2.2. Translation and Meaning

3. American structuralism
3.1. American structuralism
3.2. Quine’s conception of meaning in relation to the American structuralism

4. Logical empiricism
4.1. Logical empiricism
4.2. Quine’s semantical theories as arguments against the logical empiricism

5. Conclusion

1. Structure

In this paper I will concentrate on Quine’s views on meaning and translation as presented in his articles “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” and “Translation and Meaning”. In the second chapter I will present his concepts related to the topic as presented in the two articles.

In the third chapter I will deal with the American structuralism and compare the structuralists’ concepts with those of Quine.

The final chapter will then be about the logical empiricism and Quine’s arguments against their concepts.

2. Quine’s views on meaning and translation

2.1. Two Dogmas of Empiricism

In his paper “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” Willard Van Orman Quine argues that there can be no clear distinction between “analytical” statements, which are true only due to meaning (cf. Quine, 1953, p. 20), but not due to an investigation of reality (cf. Robering, 21.11.07, p. 25), and “synthetic” statements which are true due to facts (cf. Quine, 1953, p. 20). He then defines analytical statements further by dividing them into logically true ones which remain true under any circumstances (cf. Quine, 1953, p. 22) and analytically true sentences which can be transformed into logically true ones by means of synonymy (cf. Quine, 1953, p. 23).

But to define analytical sentences he also has to define synonymy which he tries in three different ways: by means of definition, by means of substitution and by means of semantical rules. But anyhow, he rejects all three possibilities (cf. Robering, 21.11.07, p. 20).

He understands definitions just as constituted explanations or as synonyms, which is thus no proper way to define synonymity (cf. Robering, 21.11.07, p. 21). Substitution he argues can only hold if two expressions are necessarily interchangeable which is not always the case (cf. Lübcke, 2003, p. 155). Moreover, the notion of necessity is not clear either (cf. Lübcke, 2003, p. 156). And lastly, the notion of semantical rules would have to be defined further, as well (cf. Robering, 21.11.07, p. 21).

So he finally concludes that there is no proper definition of analytical sentences as a definition would always be circular as shown in the example above (cf. Lübcke, 2003, p. 156).

Another aspect which he discusses in his paper is the notion of meaning. He claims that meaning should not be confused with naming, as there can be one name with several different meanings. So he rather compares meaning with connotation (cf. Quine, 1953, p. 21).

[...]

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Details

Title
Quine's views on meaning and translation as presented in his articles “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” and “Translation and Meaning”
College
University of Southern Denmark
Grade
1
Author
Year
2007
Pages
8
Catalog Number
V140539
ISBN (eBook)
9783668329829
ISBN (Book)
9783668329836
File size
533 KB
Language
English
Tags
quine, dogmas, empiricism”, translation, meaning”
Quote paper
Svenja Christen (Author), 2007, Quine's views on meaning and translation as presented in his articles “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” and “Translation and Meaning”, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/140539

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