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The inscrutability or indeterminacy of reference (also referential inscrutability) is a thesis by 20th century analytic philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine in his book Word and Object. The main claim of this theory is that any given sentence can be changed into a variety of other sentences where the parts of the sentence will change in what they reference, but they will nonetheless maintain the meaning of the sentence as a whole. The referential relation is inscrutable, because it is subject to the background language and ontological commitments of the speaker.

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  • The inscrutability or indeterminacy of reference (also referential inscrutability) is a thesis by 20th century analytic philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine in his book Word and Object. The main claim of this theory is that any given sentence can be changed into a variety of other sentences where the parts of the sentence will change in what they reference, but they will nonetheless maintain the meaning of the sentence as a whole. The referential relation is inscrutable, because it is subject to the background language and ontological commitments of the speaker. (en)
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  • March 2016 (en)
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  • which are not only different in the meaning of the single parts of them, but moreover is the whole meaning of both translations dissimilar. (en)
  • the theory of which we have already accepted the ontological commitments (en)
  • According to Quine, there is no way to give an example for holophrastic indeterminacy, because it affects the whole, and every language. Therefore, one has to blindly accept the validity of this hypothesis, or try to make sense of it via reflecting upon the idea (en)
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  • The inscrutability or indeterminacy of reference (also referential inscrutability) is a thesis by 20th century analytic philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine in his book Word and Object. The main claim of this theory is that any given sentence can be changed into a variety of other sentences where the parts of the sentence will change in what they reference, but they will nonetheless maintain the meaning of the sentence as a whole. The referential relation is inscrutable, because it is subject to the background language and ontological commitments of the speaker. (en)
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  • Inscrutability of reference (en)
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