The Philosophy of W. V. Quine

The Philosophy of W. V. Quine

The Philosophy of W. V. Quine

The Philosophy of W. V. Quine

Synopsis

This volume on Quine includes 25 critical essays by contemporary philosophers such as William P.Alston, Ulrich Gahde, Geoffrey Hellman, Hao Wang and Charles Parsons and Quine's answers to these critics. The text also includes a bibliography of Quine's works and discusses his views on the philosophy of logic, methodology, logical theory, theory of language, ontology and epistemology and includes a biographical essay.

Excerpt

For more than thirty years W. V. Quine has been a dominant figure in logical theory and philosophy of logic. Few, if any, have done more than he to bring the science of mathematical logic to full growth. His clear, accurate, and elegant expositions have helped set standards for the field, and his innovations in notations and techniques have paved the way for much solid work on the part of others. Nor have his contributions been limited to theory. Many generations of students of elementary logic have benefited from his strong pedagogical motivation, and, perhaps even more importantly, a host of graduate students, or budding professionals, have also learned from him about logic and what is involved in a sound philosophical attitude toward it.

If he had to choose between being a great philosopher or a great teacher, I suspect he would choose the latter; but, fortunately for us, we do not have to choose between his being one or the other; for he is both. With his technical work in logic, moreover, he has combined an impressive array of philosophical insights in methodology, theory of language, epistemology, and ontology. His special brand of empiricism or pragmatic naturalism has helped blur the supposed boundaries between speculative metaphysics and natural science and generated a sizable literature on such topics as the distinction between analytic and synthetic truths, synonymy and its explication, meaning holism and the underdetermination of theory by particular experiences, reference and its roots, inscrutability of reference, and indeterminacy of translation and multiple translatability. Accordingly, his philosophical views have been increasingly the center of attention, discussion, and controversy. And whether or not "to be is to be the value of a variable," we have learned much from him about theories and things, statements and translations, words and their objects, and what there is as well as how to express what there is.

In view of the many years this volume has been in the making and the number of delays which have plagued it, Professor Schilpp and I wish to ex-

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