THE DENIAL OF A REAL WORLD
Many modern philosophers wish to dismiss all talk of a Kantian 'thing in itself', of a world independent of what we perceive. In throwing out Kant's noumenal world they, naturally, also throw out God and the idea of faith. Their arguments for rejecting such a world are not always convincing and often appear to owe more to an intuition that such a world is irrelevant to our knowledge claims than to any sustained attempt to argue that there is no such world. Some philosophers seem to dismiss any discussion of a 'world in itself'.
Quine (b. 1908) took a radical approach in that he rejected all ontological talk--or at least he redefined it so that it is completely different from the idea of ontology (see p. 66). By 'ontological talk' Quine meant merely what a particular theory says exists. Normally one would consider that talk of ontology (what there is) is prior to talk of epistemology (how we can know what there is), but this is not the case for Quine. He considered that epistemology gives rise to ontology, that is, what there is depends on what we say there is within a particular theory
Quine rejected any talk of things existing or any search for what really exists, regarding it as a 'forlorn cause'.1 Quine was totally uninterested in what really exists, for his interest was only in what exists within a given theory. In fact he went so far as to