Hot answers tagged

12

Quine does not subscribe to scientism, i.e. the epistemological primacy of the scientific method, but he is often taken to because his repudiation of scientism is non-traditional. Quine does consign epistemology to a "chapter of psychology", which would be scientism if he also preserved the traditional understanding of epistemology, as scientism does. But ...


12

Yes and no. They both criticize a certain approach to semantic theory that can be called realism about meaning. Roughly, realists see meanings as some kind of entities, although there is a wide range of opinions as to their nature. For Plato and Frege they are ideal forms occupying a separate realm, for Aristotle and Russell they are invariances of sensible ...


10

The short answer is that Quine is not a mathematical realist as intended in the question (on my reading of it). Why does he call himself a realist? Because he practices what he preaches. Indeterminacy of translation, and hence meaning, implies that words only mean as relata in a scheme, not as individual references to raw reality or mental content. Holism of ...


7

They are in opposition, as Quine and Kripke generally are on interpreting modal logic, and much of what is related to it. Rigid designators are defined as those picking out the same object in all possible worlds, so unsurprisingly Quine and Kripke do not see eye to eye on this issue in particular. To pick out the same object we must agree on how it is done, ...


6

I do not think you can find a brief answer to this debated issue. See at least Modal Logic, Varieties of Modality, The Epistemology of Modality and Possible Worlds. Def (A) of necessity A statement that cannot be untrue is quite useless; "cannot be" means "impossible". Thus, necessity is simply the negation of the possibility of the negation, which is ...


6

Quine's attack on the analytic/synthetic distinction is contained in a series of papers: Truth by Convention, Two Dogmas of Empiricism, Carnap on Logical Truth, and in the early chapters of Word and Object. In broad brush terms he argues: Attempts to establish that some sentences are true by virtue of their meanings is either vacuously true or viciously ...


6

Quine did not specifically study "higher set theory", and his positions on the issue are mostly generalities following from his empirical holism (mathematics is the "entrenched" part of the "web of belief" that touches on experience at the observational boundaries) combined with the indispensability argument (what is indispensable in empirical science, e.g. ...


6

Let me briefly sketch the context. Davidson's principle of charity is part of his semantic project, a theory of meaning. It is meant to reconcile semantic compositionality, the idea that meanings of complex expressions are composites of the meanings of their constituents, with the epistemological holism, which Davidson inherited from his teacher Quine, ...


5

There are two separate issues here. Some religious philosophers and theologians distinguish between being and existence because for God, who is the source of all existence, and therefore precedes it logically, can not be meaningfully said to exist. The same point can be phrased in reverse, to wit God exists, but does not have being. As Plotinus puts it "The ...


5

It would be to argue against meanings as mental or objective entities. Grice and Strawson rely on meaning as something propositional statement "inherently" has, Quine's position, like late Wittgenstein's, is to replace reified meanings with linguistic roles in social use when interpreting language. In Word and Object, that came out about a decade after the ...


5

For hundreds of years, mathematicians had played fast and loose with logic. They rarely wrote down axioms, or checked that what they were doing was logically sound beyond the gut check. This had been slowly causing problems, at different rates in different fields, causing people to create set theory, a common framework that all mathematicians could agree ...


5

Vivid designator (originally "vivid name") is Kaplan's replacement for rigid designator in the logic of beliefs and other propositional attitudes introduced in Quantifying In. The point was to eliminate the metaphysical essentialism of de re modality by relativizing rigidity to context and background of belief reports. This was a descriptivist alternative to ...


4

The critical thing to appreciate about Two Dogmas of Empiricism is its context. You mention the idea that we impose "specific assumptions about the domain of discourse" in Quine's analysis of the Cordate/Renate relationship - well, Rudolph Carnap's Logical Empiricist project was exactly about the processes and mathematics in formulating such domains ...


4

He is not rejecting meaning; what he says is: My present suggestion is that it is nonsense, and the root of much nonsense, to speak of a linguistic component and a factual component in the truth of any individual statement. Taken collectively, science has its double dependence upon language and experience; but this duality is not significantly traceable ...


4

You're on to something important--Buridan (like members of both the via antiqua and via moderna logicians who preceded him) was interested in distinguishing signification from supposition. This is analogous to the modern distinction between meaning and reference. However, there are important differences between Quine and Buridan's philosophies of logic, ...


4

Kant's epistemology: There are facts out there, but we can never access them directly, we can only perceive them the way they are presented to us by our own minds. No, this specific piece has no special relation to Kant. It has been accepted by (almost) every western philosopher in the last 500 years, together with the rejection of the Aristotelian/...


4

Holism is an epistemological position, and externalism is a semantic one. Of course, some degree of interaction is to be expected, but not only is it possible to hold them together, it is not particularly challenging. The appearance of incompatibility comes from the misleading use of the word "meaning". In the holism, especially Quine's and Davidson's, "...


4

As written, your question seems to assume that someone is an important philosopher of science only if they're mentioned in one particular Stanford Encyclopedia article. Both Feyerabend and Quine have entire articles of their own. There's been relatively little work on the demarcation problem in professional philosophy of science over the past 30 years or ...


4

This is just part of Quine's naturalism, a sort of science-first approach to everything. That is mainly what underlies his suspicion of higher set theory. Here is Quine discussing the matter, from his book Pursuit of Truth (1990, pp. 94-95): Truth in mathematics What now of those parts of mathematics that share no empirical meaning, because ...


4

Recall that to Kant since Aristotle "logic has not been able to advance a single step, and is thus to all appearance a closed and completed body of doctrine" (Critique of Pure Reason): no propositional variables, no connectives, no multi-place predicates, and no quantifiers. So Kant's notion of analytic is so impoverished that he would ...


4

Frankly speaking, what I can imagine is this... With concatenation we can form an expression x⌢y that has never been used (and never will be), and thus it is a type with no tokens, i.e. the null set. If the same happens with z⌢y, we have that x⌢y=z⌢y, because both are the null set. But x and z may be two different expressions, i.e. x ≠ z. This violates ...


3

As a matter of fact, Quine completely adopted Russell's response to Parmenides's argument. This is explicit in Quine's "on what there is" (1948). Curiously, Quine related that argument to Plato rather than to Parmenides. Quine even humorously nicknamed the argument Plato's Beard, to match the infamous Occam's Razor. This is the old Platonic riddle of ...


3

That Quine greatly expanded Duhem's thesis (about which he learned only after writing the Two Dogmas) is generally acknowledged. Zammito gives a detailed comparison in The Nice Derangement of Epistemes, summarizing as follows:"Quine has extended the original proposition of Duhem in two crucial manners. First, he has introduced the radical phrase "come what ...


3

Quine may have assembled his example more carefully, if there was a substantive point behind it. But the difference between synonymy and co-extensionality is such a well-known and undisputed fact, that he did not need to bother. You seem to object that the two classes "creatures with hearts" and "creatures with kidneys" might not be co-extensive after all. ...


3

A great deal is lost in repudiating the analytic/synthetic division. Philosophers of the early 20th century had high hopes that an account of analyticity could perform vital epistemological work. There were hopes, for instance, that such an account would explain how it is we are able to get our knowledge of mathematics apparently a priori (although Kant ...


3

Singling out Quine, in the context of Kant's synthetic apriori, seems to me out of place. There was nothing special about Quine's attitude towards Kant's synthetic apriori. Quine's specialty was his criticism of the analytic apriori, and this in turn has no special relation to Kant. Kant's synthetic apriori had some following during the 19th century. But by ...


3

This is important structurally. It may sound like a jovial riddle, but from a structural point of view it demonstrates the inevitability of contradictions and paradoxes in any logical system strong enough to encompass mathematics. The immediate problem demonstrated by the paradox stems from allowing predicates to take predicates as arguments. Here the ...


3

The OP is very close to Quine's considered view of necessity, as e.g. in Pursuit of Truth: "In respect of utility there is less to be said for necessity than for the propositional attitudes. The expression does serve a purpose in daily discourse, but of a shallow sort. We modify a sentence with the adverb 'necessarily' when it is a sentence presumed ...


2

Good, tough questions First, one should be cautious about claiming that any view "relinquishes all normativity". The extent to which Quine avoids charges that he is 'sneaking in' values or normativity is precisely the extent to which he defers to others (e.g., scientists). The goal of Quine's position is not to provide "pure descriptions" or to end up with ...


2

According to important voices from antique Greek culture Homeric Gods have "predictive power", i.e. that they have the capability to make prophecies. The most well known example is the Delphic oracle, an institution attached to the Olympic god Apollon. Also Greek tragedies often attribute the tragic in their hero's life to a prophecy which has not been ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible