I'm about to read a translation of Immanuel Kant's Grounding of the Metaphysics of a Moral (loosely) into English. It strikes me that it's possible to say that a sufficient or good
translation has to stay within a certain scope! This is what I level against Quine as he appears on my Foe-list. Not only that, but his project of Philosophy seems to be sceptical and of the kind of minimalist philosophy without
connecting him with Paul Horwich in any way...
I'm coming back to this, but this project is now open!
"The indeterminacy of translation is a thesis propounded by 20th century analytic philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine. The classic statement of this thesis can be found in his 1960 book Word and Object, which gathered together and refined much of Quine's previous work on subjects other than formal logic and set theory. The indeterminacy of translation is also discussed at length in his Ontological Relativity (1968).
In these books, Quine considers the methods available to a field linguist attempting to translate a hitherto unknown language. He notes that there are always different ways one might break a sentence into words, and different ways to distribute functions among words. Any hypothesis of translation could be defended only by appeal to context, by determining what other sentences a native would utter. But the same indeterminacy will appear there: any hypothesis can be defended if one adopts enough compensatory hypotheses about other parts of the language.
Quine denies an absolute standard of right and wrong in translating one language into another; rather, he adopts a pragmatic stance toward translation, that a translation can be consistent with the behavioral evidence. And while Quine does admit the existence of standards for good and bad translations, such standards are peripheral to his philosophical concern with the act of translation, hinging upon such pragmatic issues as speed of translation, and the lucidity and conciseness of the results. The key point is that more than one translation meets these criteria, and hence that no unique meaning can be assigned to words and sentences."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indetermin ... ranslationThis morning I finished reading Linguistics and Philosophy: An Essay on the Philosophical Constants of Language
by Etienne Gilson http://www.amazon.com/Linguistics-Philo ... t_ep_dpt_6I conclude from my reading that Gilson agrees with Quine's hypothesis