, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 7-32

A Quinean Definition Of Synonymy

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Abstract

The main purpose of this paper is to propose and defend anew definition of synonymy. Roughly (and slightly misleadingly), theidea is that two expressions are synonymous iff intersubstitutions insentences preserve the degree of doxastic revisability. In Section 1 Iargue that Quine's attacks on analyticity leave room for such adefinition. The definition is presented in Section 2, and Section 3elaborates on the concept of revisability. The definition is defendedin Sections 4 and 5. It is, inter alia, shown that the definition hasdesired formal properties. In Sections 6 and 7 I briefly comment on,first, the relation of the definition to Quine's later ideas about (stimulus)synonymy, and, second, its relation to a general, interlinguistic, conceptof meaning.