Are Quine’s Two Indeterminacy Theses Compatible?

Acta Analytica 14 (23.):89-99. (1999)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
The paper seeks to show that Quine’s theses concerning the underdetermination of scientific theories by experience and the indeterminacy of reference cannot be reconciled if some of Quine’s central assumptions are accepted. The argument is this. Quine holds that the thesis about reference is not just a special case of the other thesis. In order to make sense of this comment we must distinguish between factual and epistemic indeterminacy. Something is factual indeterminate if it is not determined by the facts. Epistemic indeterminacy, on the other hand, is due to the lack of evidence. Quine’s claim about the relationship between the two theses is best understood as saying that reference is factually indeterminate, whereas the underdetermination of scientific theories is merely epistemic. But the latter cannot be sustained in light of Quine’s verificationism, holism and naturalism.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2011-01-27
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total downloads
111 ( #19,953 of 37,183 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
16 ( #20,058 of 37,183 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.