Erkenntnis

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 7–32

A Quinean Definition Of Synonymy

  • Peter Pagin
Article

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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Boghossian, P. A.: 1997, ‘Analyticity’, in B. Hale and C. Wright (eds), A Companion to the Philosophy of Language, Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar
  2. Burge, T.: 1978, ‘Belief andSynonymy’, Journal of Philosophy 75, 119–138.Google Scholar
  3. Burge, T.: 1992, ‘Philosophy of Language and Mind1950–1990’, The Philosophical Review 101, 3–51.Google Scholar
  4. Carnap, R.: 1956, Meaning and Necessity, 2ndedn, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  5. Fodor, J.: 1998, Concepts. Where Cognitive ScienceWentWrong, Clarendon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  6. Hansson, S. O.:1999, ‘A Survey of Non-Prioritized Belief Revision’, Erkenntnis 50, 413–427.Google Scholar
  7. Putnam, H.: 1962, ‘The Analytic and the Synthetic’, in H. Feigl and G. Maxwell (eds), Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. Reprinted in Putnam, Mind, Language and Reality. Philosophical Papers, volume 2, Cambridge University Press, 1975. Page references to the reprint.Google Scholar
  8. Quine, W. V. O.:1951, ‘Two Dogmas of Empiricism’, The Philosophical Review. Reprinted in From a Logical Point of View, 3rd edn, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. 1980. Page references to the reprint.Google Scholar
  9. Quine, W. V. O.:1960, Word and Object, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  10. Quine, W. V. O.: 1960a, ‘Carnap and LogicalTruth’, Synthese 12, 1960. Reprinted in The Ways of Paradox and Other Essays, revised edn, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. 1976. Page references to the reprint.Google Scholar
  11. Quine, W. V. O.: 1992, Pursuit of Truth, 2nd edn,Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  12. Quine, W. V.O.: 1995, From Stimulus to Science, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Pagin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations