Questions tagged [quine]

W.V.O. Quine (1908-2000) was a prominent 20th century analytic philosopher.

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How does Quine effectively shift from points he has made about knowledge acquisition to conclusions he makes about knowledge simpliciter?

Quine propagated forward an approach to epistemology wherein there was no need of any sort of justification "beyond observation and the hypothetico-deductive method" (Quine 1981). Quine is going ...
9 votes
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Quine and the Myth of the Given

To give you some background details about myself: I have a deep interest in Quine's work and Naturalism in Philosophy; I have been independently studying and reading Quine's work and his relation to ...
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Is there any correlation between Quine’s underdetermination and bayesian issues of old evidence and new theories?

Bayesianism has some faults some of which involve the problem of old evidence and the issue of new theories. Are these two problems linked to Quine’s underdetermination? Or are they contrasting it? ...
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Quine's quasi quotation

I would like to know what's the point of Quine's quasi-quotation, that is the use of angle brackets. How does they differ from ordinary commas quotation?
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Seeking a quote of Russell on what he could conceive or discuss

At some point someone asked Bertrand Russell about formal logical language without distinctions of type. (I think it might have been Quine, who was developing for example kinds of algebraic logic ...
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What type of subjective probability is adopted by Quine?

I am wondering what type of subjective probability is adopted by Quine. Is Quine sympathetic towards de Finetti's probability or Bayes'ones?
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The problem of induction and coherentism

My understanding of the problem of induction is this. You want to hypothesise that the future is like the past (let us call this hypothesis H), and so justify the scientific practice of making ...
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Are holist underdetermination and contrastive underdetermination mutually exclusive in any ways?

My understanding of Quine's view of holist underdetermination and how it connects to his holist view of science is summarized well by this quote: The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, ...
3 votes
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Quine's naturalism and the interpretations of Quantum Mechanics

I am wondering what does Quine's naturalism amount to. Specifically, Quine believes that our best scientific theories tell us what exist. This means that science determines our ontology. In the case ...
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4 answers
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Quine - two dogmas of empiricism

I'm trying to understand this paper. Seems to me like it all stems from a rejection of "meaning"... ie: Quine is saying statements don't mean anything. And this is what leads to the rejection of the ...
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What does Quine's ontological method of paraphrasing achieve?

W. V. O. Quine in "On What There Is?" denies the existence of universals. There are red things, like a fire truck (f), a tomato (t), a red umbrella (u). But the phrase "They have ...
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Differences and similarities between Kuhn and Quine about the indeterminacy of translation

About Thomas Kuhn's semantic incommensurability: Early on Kuhn drew a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation (1970a, 202; 1970c, 268). According to the latter, if we are ...
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Quine said that even logic could be revised on empirical grounds. Did he later reverse that position? Where?

Quine said that even logic could be revised on empirical grounds. Did he later reverse that position? If so, in which of his writings?
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Does this reformulation of the the analytic / synthetic distinction overcome Quine's objections?

He seemed to be asserting that synonymity cannot possibly be defined in a non-circular way. We attempt to show this is false on the basis of defining the Quine/Carnap example in a non-circular way. ...
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Difference between Carnap and Quine's views

Could someone explain to me, in easy language, what the main differences are between Carnap and Quine's views regarding internal / external questions and realism? Quine called Carnap a Platoist, yet I ...
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Two dogmas of empiricism - logical vs analytic truths... is there really a distinction?

A link to the paper is here: https://www.theologie.uzh.ch/dam/jcr:ffffffff-fbd6-1538-0000-000070cf64bc/Quine51.pdf So in the paper Quine gives two types of analytic statements: No unmarried man is ...
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Can the analytic/synthetic distinction be accounted for as an erotetic difference?

Although Kant was the first to refer to the distinction as such, his belief that there is a form of truth based on predicates-contained-in-subjects actually goes back at least to one definition from ...
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Did Quine ever respond to the major criticisms of Two Dogmas?

I'm specifically thinking about Grice and Strawson's paper "In Defense of a Dogma" and Putnam's paper "Two Dogmas Revisited". Both raise major issues with the content of Quine's "Two Dogmas of ...
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What is Quine's rebuttal to Grice and Strawson's In Defense of Dogma?

In response to Quine's rejection of the analytic-synthetic distinction, Strawson and Grice appear to reduce Quine's rejection (or skepticism) of synonymy to a rejection of meaning. What is/would be ...
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Did Quine change of opinion towards quantified modal logic?

Willard Van Orman Quine was a strong opponent to quantified modal logic calling it unreasonable and useless. But, did he always think like that? Or did he relax his attitude towards it with time? Did ...
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How has Analytic Philosophy Survivied Quine's Criticism?

Analytic philosophy and techniques, in which philosophy is approached as a primarily linguistic and logic exercise, has been the dominant mode of philosophy in the Anglo-American world for most of the ...
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In Quine's ontology, why does a 'recognition' of something lead to ontological commitment while a 'feeling' does not?

We are discussing Quine's On What There Is in a metaphysics class I am in. I felt like I understood what he meant, that if something has to be predicated for in a sentence, we are ontologically ...
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Are "to exist" and "to have being" the same?

I recently read an introduction about ontology. A section was about the debate whether to exist and to have being is the same. One position says (attributed to Meinong), that some things exist and ...
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What is Quine’s Confirmation theory?

I have just read that Quine relies on his confirmation theory to establish if a scientific theory is “valid” or not. But I am not sure to have understood what is Quine’s confirmation theory and why ...
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The synthetic apriority of the categorical imperative

Weirdness I noticed about Kant's theory of the categorical imperative: he says that the CI is "synthetic," in the second Critique using the very imposing phrase "sic volo, sic jubeo" to characterize ...
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Humean supervenience and Quine

I am wondering if Quine would adopt the Lewis' Humean supervenience theory to make sense of probability. Quine is a subjectivist about probability (even though regarding probability in QM he thinks ...
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What are good sources on vivid designators?

Wikipedia lists a vivid designator as the following: Vivid designator: In modal logic and the philosophy of language, a vivid designator is a term which is believed to designate the same ...
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How and why Aristotelian essentialism is a problem for Quine?

I cannot understand how and why the Aristotelian essentialism is problematic for Quine. I have tried to read articles on the theme but probably I am not smart enough to understand them. Could you ...
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What is Quine’s reductionism?

I am especially interested in how reductionism is related to the fact that even though science broadly comprehends a number of subjects, physics is paradigmatic.
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Why are non-logical predicates of 0-arity treated as logical variables?

In the "Non-logical symbols" section of Wikipedia, it states: A predicate symbol (or relation symbol) with some valence (or arity, number of arguments) greater than or equal to 0. These are ...
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How do we know that Wyman and McX aren't the same person?

Quine thought that only that which exists can be referred to, or in other words 'to be is to be the value of a bound variable'. However, what of his equally famous fictional characters Wyman and McX?...
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What is Quine's response to Parmenides's argument against change?

I was recently reading Russell's chapter on Parmenides in The History of Western Philosophy, and I came across a fun little argument for the absence of change. Essentially, it says that word meaning ...
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What is Quine's perspective on probability?

I am curious about what Quine's perspective on probability may be and if we can say that the quinean viewpoint on modality can be considered similar to his viewpoint on probability. Is probability ...
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Why can we not reduce necessity to analyticity?

Why can’t we eliminate talk of necessity and possible worlds, for talk of analyticity and (non-modal) logical consistency? Has there been any attempt in recent times to do this? I'm not 100% sure, but ...
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Is Kuhn referring to Quine's holism while developing his later Semantic Incommensurability Thesis?

Kuhn's view as expressed in the passage quoted above depends upon meaning holism—the claim that the meanings of terms are interrelated in such a way that changing the meaning of one term results in ...
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What did Kuhn exactly say about the inscrutability of reference?

Early on Kuhn drew a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation (1970a, 202; 1970c, 268). According to the latter, if we are translating one language into another, there are ...
2 votes
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In which sense Quine denies that the translated expressions do have a meaning?

Early on Kuhn drew a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation (1970a, 202; 1970c, 268). According to the latter, if we are translating one language into another, there are ...
4 votes
1 answer
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Quine "Ontological Relativity"

I am completely new to Quine's theories and thank you for your patience in answering my novice questions. In his paper "Ontological Relativity", Quine says: Consider the case of a thoughtful ...
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why Bertrand Russell's paradox had such a high impact and relevance?

The paradox of Bertrand Russell he formulated in 1918, I believe, has undermined the attempt to found mathematics on a strictly logical basis. I remember that an intuitive way of putting the paradox ...
2 votes
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Could someone help me out with Quine's theory of ontological commitment?

I'm kind of struggling with this. My prof gave an example of the problem of whether or not holes exist. In the case of a colander, a realist about holes could say that a colander is metal that has ...
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is the world a set of everything that exists? Any quotation?

The way I understood first-order-logic with quinean metaontology is, that a world is the set of everything that exists. Now I'm searching for a quote. I looked at some texts from Russell and at On ...
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Does Quine's dissolution of the Analytic/Synthetic distinction challenge mathematical realism?

I was surprised to learn that Quine is a mathematical realist (See this interview for example). I always assumed that his "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" and specifically his dissolution of the Analytic/...
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What are the relations between externalism (Kripke, Putnam) and holism (Quine) about meaning?

Three points are not clear to me about the relations between semantic externalism (Kripke, Putnam) and holism (Quine): Is there a way according to which externalism and holism can be held together or ...
4 votes
1 answer
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Quine on Necessity

Lately, I have been reading some of Quine's works on modality. I can't help but feel that many of his pronouncements on modality are wrong/misguided, although pinpointing exactly where is goes wrong ...
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How do Kripke's rigid designators and the necessity of identity relate to the Duhem-Quine thesis?

The Duhem-Quine thesis refers to the underdetermination of scientific theories and the fact that it is impossible to test scientific theories in isolation, we always need to make background ...
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Do Wittgenstein and Quine give the same criticisms of semantics?

What is the connection between the criticisms offered by Wittgenstein and Quine of meaning and language? Are both philosophers generally criticizing the same semantic theories with similar arguments, ...
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Are there serious challenges to the 'principle of charity' as presented by Donald Davidson?

Donald Davidson's formulation of the "principle of charity" is based on Quine's "radical interpretation" (I believe from the book Word & Object), and he formulates it in a way that considers its ...
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Quine - Two dogmas of empiricism - status of mathematics [duplicate]

If we do away with the analytic-synthetic distinction as per Quine, does that mean that mathematics is no more certain than empirical science? And how does mathematical proof proceed if we don't use ...
6 votes
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If one agrees with Quine's dissolution of the Analytic/Synthetic distinction, what is left of Kant's epistemology?

One of Kant's most important (if not the most important) result is his argument (proof?) that synthetic a priori knowledge is possible. If one agrees with Quine's argument against Analyticity as ...
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What is knowledge for Quine? What is the criterion for determining what knowledge is and isn't?

Quine's holism is marked by a scientific methodology. Perhaps not all beliefs in Quine's web of belief are accurate, but at its best the web consists of the refined, matured string of beliefs which ...