Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


Quine, Naturalised Meaning and Empathy

Issue: Issue 03 • Author/s: Maria Baghramian
Topics: Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

Naturalism is the defining feature of the philosophy of Willard van Orman Quine. But there is little clarity in our understanding of naturalism and the role it plays in Quine’s work. The current paper explores one strand of Quine’s naturalist project, the strand that primarily deals with a naturalised account of language. I examine the role that Quine assigns to empathy as the starting point of the process of learning and translating a language and argue that empathy, when going beyond the automatic form of mirroring, has an irreducible normative…

Modal Normativism and De Re Modality [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: Tom Donaldson, Jennifer Wang
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Modal Logic, Ontology

In the middle of the last century, it was common to explain the notion of necessity in linguistic terms. A necessary truth, it was said, is a sentence whose truth is guaranteed by linguistic rules. Quine famously argued that, on this view, de re modal claims do not make sense. “Porcupettes are porcupines” is necessarily true, but it would be a mistake to say of a particular porcupette that it is necessarily a porcupine, or that it is possibly purple. Linguistic theories of necessity fell out of favour with the…

Putnam on Methods of Inquiry

Issue: Issue 03 • Author/s: Gary Ebbs
Topics: Epistemology, History of Analytic Philosophy

Hilary Putnam’s paradigm-changing clarifications of our methods of inquiry in science and everyday life are central to his philosophy. He takes for granted that the judgments of scientists are for the most part reasonable and not in need of philosophical support, and that no part of our supposed knowledge is unrevisable or guaranteed to be true. He infers from key episodes in the history of science that our language contains terms whose references may remain unchanged despite radical changes in our theories, and that some statements are so basic for…