Early Origins of Quine's Principle of Indeterminancy of Translation
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Unfortunately perhaps for the reader, the following essay is more a product of perspiration than one of inspiration. It was originally to have been an examination of the second chapter of Quine's Word and Object, but in the course of reading some of Quine's earlier work for background material, I became interested in tracing the arguments of a single essay, titled "The Problem of Meaning in Linguistics". The result is this essay, in effect, an extended expligue du texte of the essay in which the early version of what, in Word and Object, was to become the . "principle of indeterminacy of translation" makes its first extended appearance. For the reader unacquainted with Quine's work at firsthand, the warning might well be 1n order that the present essay preserves little of that author's wit and polished writing style--an observation unnecessary for those who have read Quine. On the other hand, one should also keep in mind that what follows is, essentially, an exercise, whether we call it a "thesis" or an essay. This is not to be11ttle its value--to the writer, if not to possible readers--but to suggest that should this essay strike the reader as less than exciting the issues it discusses are definitely exciting, as well as extremely controversial and well worth pursuing.