Noûs 41 (2):276–297 (2007)

Stewart Shapiro
Ohio State University
John Arnold
James Madison University
It is sometimes said that there are two, competing versions of W. V. O. Quine’s unrelenting empiricism, perhaps divided according to temporal periods of his career. According to one, logic is exempt from, or lies outside the scope of, the attack on the analytic-synthetic distinction. This logic-friendly Quine holds that logical truths and, presumably, logical inferences are analytic in the traditional sense. Logical truths are knowable a priori, and, importantly, they are incorrigible, and so immune from revision. The other, radical reading of Quine does not exempt logic from the attack on analyticity and a priority. Logical truths and inferences are themselves part of the web of belief, and the same global methodology applies to logic as to any other part of the web, such as theoretical chemistry or ordinary beliefs about ordinary objects. Everything, including logic, is up for grabs in our struggle for holistic confirmation. The purpose of this paper is to examine the law of non-contradiction, and the concomitant principle of ex falso quodlibet, from the perspective of the principles advocated by the radical Quine. I show that he has no compelling reason to accept either of these. To put it bluntly, neither the law of non-contradiction nor the rule of ex falso quodlibet is empirically confirmed, and these principles fare poorly on the various criteria for theory acceptance on the methodology of the radical Quine. So the radical Quine is led rather quickly and rather directly into something in the neighborhood of Graham Priest’s dialetheism.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2007.00647.x
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References found in this work BETA

Word and Object.Willard van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - London and New York: Routledge.
Philosophy of Logic.W. V. O. Quine - 1970 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

What Counts as Evidence for a Logical Theory?Ole Thomassen Hjortland - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Logic 16 (7):250.
Quine's ‘Needlessly Strong’ Holism.Sander Verhaegh - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 61:11-20.
Katz’s Revisability Paradox Dissolved.Allard Tamminga & Sander Verhaegh - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):771-784.

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