The underdetermination/indeterminacy distinction and the analytic/synthetic distinction

Erkenntnis 46 (1):5-32 (1997)
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Two of Quine's most familiar doctrines are: that there is a distinction between underdetermination and indeterminacy; and that there is no distinction between analytic and synthetic truths. An argument is given that these two doctrines are incompatible. In terms wholly acceptable to Quine and based on the underdetermination/indeterminacy distinction, an exhaustive and exclusive distinction is drawn between two kinds of true sentences, which, it is argued, corresponds to the traditional analytic/synthetic distinction. An appendix is used to develop one aspect of the underdetermination/indeterminacy distinction, as construed here, and to discuss, in passing, some of Quine’s more general views on truth.

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Adam Moore
University of Washington


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