Logical Theatrics, or Floes on Flows: Translating Quine with the Shins

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I will begin this comparative analysis with Quine, focusing on the front matter and first chapter of Word and Object (alongside From a Logical Point of View and two other short pieces), attempting to illuminate there a (1) basis of excessive, yet familiar, chaos, (2) method of improvised, dramatic distortion, and (3) consequent neo-Pragmatist metaphysics. Having elaborated this Quinian basis, method and metaphysics, I will then show that they can be productively translated into James Mercer’s poetic lyrics for The Shins, with an emphasis on the first song, entitled “Caring is Creepy,” from their debut studio album, Oh, Inverted World! Finally, I will explain why Quine and Mercer are particularly suited to this translation (in contrast to other philosophically-rich pop lyricists such as Bob Dylan, and other pragmatist philosophers like Robert Brandom), in the course of which important implications will emerge for our globalized world today.
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Archival date: 2019-09-20
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