David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In 1950, Quine inaugurated a strange new way of talking about philosophy. The hallmark of this approach is a propensity to take ordinary colloquial sentences that all of us utter routinely when we are not thinking about philosophy, or (more often) other sentences that very directly and obviously logically entail such sentences, and treat those sentences (i) as having a clear content, calling for little or no elucidation, and (ii) as proper objects of philosophical controversy. Questions like ‘are there numbers?’ and ‘are there tables?’ were now placed on a par with questions like ‘are there immaterial souls?’ and ‘are there sense-data?’. Of course philosophers have always had a propensity to say things that sound odd to vulgar ears. What was new with Quine was a systematic policty of privileging these kinds of formulations over more distinctively philosophical idioms. Jargon which had been central to the practice of metaphysics—’logical construction’, ’nothing over and above’, ‘reduce’, ‘ground’, ‘in virtue of’, ‘fundamental’, ‘consist in’...—were shifted to a much more peripheral role. The tradition inaugurated by Quine raises some hard interpretative questions for anyone who, like me and Dave, thinks that there is a range of different propositions that people brought up as English-speakers might be tempted to try to get across by uttering one of these sentences. On the one hand, Dave and I agree that the propositions that any ordinary, unphilosophical use of a sentence like ‘there are some free tables at the back of the café’ would be intended to get across are (in many cases) extremely obvious. The idea that when ontologists assert ‘there are no tables’, or treat this claim as calling for serious debate, they are intending to call into question propositions as obvious as that seems implausibly uncharitable. On the other hand, it is also a hallmark of the Quinean tradition that it claims to be using words in their ordinary sense, at least to the extent that (unlike its founder) it is willing to trafﬁc in talk of meanings at all..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Antti Keskinen (2012). Quine on Objects: Realism or Anti-Realism? Theoria 78 (2):128-145.
Heather Dyke (2007). Words, Pictures and Ontology: A Commentary on John Heil's From an Ontological Point of View. SWIF Philosophy of Mind Review 6:31-41.
Bryan Pickel (2010). There is No 'Is' of Constitution. Philosophical Studies 147 (2):193 - 211.
Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). A Metaphysics of Ordinary Things and Why We Need It. Philosophy 83 (1):5-24.
Gillian Kay Russell (2008). Truth in Virtue of Meaning. Oxford University Press.
Lars Bergström (1994). Quine's Truth. Inquiry 37 (4):421 – 435.
Lars Bergström (1994). Quine's Truth. Inquiry 37 (4):421-435.
Gillian Russell (2011). Truth in Virtue of Meaning: A Defence of the Analytic/Synthetic Distinction. OUP Oxford.
Berit Brogaard (2007). Number Words and Ontological Commitment. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (226):1–20.
Jody Azzouni (2005). Tarski, Quine, and the Transcendence of the Vernacular “True”. Synthese 142 (3):273 - 288.
Michael Rubin (2014). On Two Responses to Moral Twin Earth. Theoria 80 (1):26-43.
Jacques Bouveresse (1992). Wittgenstein, Anti-Realism and Mathematical Propositions. Grazer Philosophische Studien 42:133-160.
Rupert Read (2002). Is ‘What is Time?’ A Good Question to Ask? Philosophy 77 (2):193-210.
Olaf Mueller (1998). Does the Quine/Duhem Thesis Prevent Us From Defining Analyticity? On Fallacy in Quine. Erkenntnis 48 (1):81 - 99.
Cian Dorr (2005). What We Disagree About When We Disagree About Ontology. In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. 234--86.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads141 ( #6,395 of 1,099,911 )
Recent downloads (6 months)14 ( #15,787 of 1,099,911 )
How can I increase my downloads?