Indeterminacy of translation and indeterminacy of belief

Philosophical Studies 26 (3-4):229 - 237 (1974)
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Abstract

I argue that quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of radical translation is incorrect. the argument exploits the connections between quine's thesis and common sense notions regarding belief. a simple model of belief, taking beliefs to be sets of brain states, is used to give a rigorous restatement of quine's thesis. it is then argued that our need to project the actions of other people from their professions of belief would make the situation quine describes unstable, since persons in that situation would make less accurate predictions of actions than would persons not so situated

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Howard Darmstadter
Princeton University (PhD)

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