W. V. Quine

W. V. Quine: (Willard Van Orman Quine) (kwīn), 1908–2000, American philosopher and mathematical logician, b. Akron, Ohio, grad. Oberlin, 1930. He studied at Harvard (Ph.D., 1932) under Alfred North Whitehead and in Europe, where he was influenced by Rudolf Carnap. He taught at Harvard (1936–78), becoming Edgar Pierce professor of philosophy there in 1955. Much of Quine's philosophical work deals with the implications of viewing language as a logical system. He disputed the distinction, originating in Immanuel Kant, between analytic and synthetic statements. He argued that any statement can be held to be true no matter what is observed, provided that adjustments are made elsewhere in a language's system of reference. Quine drew attention to "ontic commitments" in language systems, i.e., their tendency to commit their users to the existence of certain things. In the field of logic Quine made important contributions to set theory. His writings include Mathematical Logic (1940), From a Logical Point of View (1953), Word and Object (1960), Philosophy of Logic (1969), Set Theory and Its Logic,Methods of Logic (3d ed. 1972), Theories and Things (1981), and Pursuit of Truth (1989).

See studies by R. F. Gibson (1982), I. Dilman (1984), L. Hahn (1986), P. Gochet (1986), and R. B. Barrett and R. F. Gibson, ed. (1989).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Roots of Reference
W. V. Quine.
Open Court Publishing, 1973
Word and Object
Willard Van Orman Quine.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1960
The Philosophy of W. V. Quine: An Expository Essay
Roger F. Gibson Jr.
University Presses of Florida, 1982
The Philosophy of W.V. Quine
Lewis Edwin Hahn; Paul Arthur Schilpp; W. V. Quine.
Open Court, 1986
Quine on Ontology, Necessity, and Experience: A Philosophical Critique
Ilham Dilman.
State University of New York Press, 1984
Enlightened Empiricism: An Examination of W.V. Quine's Theory of Knowledge
Roger F. Gibson Jr.
University Presses of Florida, 1988
The American Philosopher: Conversations with Quine, Davidson, Putnam, Nozick, Danto, Rorty, Cavell, MacIntyre, and Kuhn
Rosanna Crocitto; Giovanna Borradori.
University of Chicago Press, 1994
Contemporary Readings in Logical Theory
Irving M. Copi; James A. Gould.
Macmillan, 1967
Librarian’s tip: "On What There Is" by Willard Van Orman Quine begins on p. 165
Language and Ontology
Jack Kaminsky.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1969
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Quine on Ontological Commitment"
Pragmatism: From Progressivism to Postmodernism
Robert Hollinger; David Depew.
Praeger, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "James, Quine, and Analytic Pragmatism"
Modalities: Philosophical Essays
Ruth Barcan Marcus.
Oxford University Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 14 "A Backward Look at Quine's Animadversions of Modalites"
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