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4.7 out of 5 stars
3
4.7 out of 5 stars

on 23 September 2008
Reflecting on Quine's conclusions, one can easily feel a need to disagree, but reading his arguments, one can find no mis-step on which to balme this disagreement.
Word and Object begins with simple observations and thought experiemnts, designed to show exactly what information we have to judge upon when we attribute meaning to the utterances of others. The perhaps surprising conclusion is that even within our own language we only ever have behavioural clues, which can never gaurantee identity of meaning between two users of an expression. Quine derives this thesis of 'indterminacy of translation' and builds upon it, at all times working thoroughly and systematically. One slight drawback is that it is thus easy to miss a step, as the book is written so succinctly, without recourse to repetition. However, when followed closely it is easy to appreciate the depth behind such simple observations about the use of language.
This book is not just a must for all seriosly interested in analytic philosophy, but when read and understood, it is hard to argue against its place as the single most significant work in the subject.
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on 5 September 2013
Some of Quine (the algebra) is somewhat beyond me, but he writes so clearly and is always interesting. The volume itself is nicely produced.
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on 16 July 2016
A wonderful book to enjoy......
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