In Maria Baghramian & Sarin Marchetti (eds.), Pragmatism and the European Traditions: Encounters with Analytic Philosophy and Phenomenology Before the Great Divide. London: Routledge. pp. 228-250 (2018)

Authors
Alexander Klein
McMaster University
Abstract
What is W. V. O. Quine’s relationship to classical pragmatism? Although he resists the comparison to William James in particular, commentators have seen an affinity between his “web of belief” model of theory confirmation and James’s claim that our beliefs form a “stock” that faces new experience as a corporate body. I argue that the similarity is only superficial. James thinks our web of beliefs should be responsive not just to perceptual but also to emotional experiences in some cases; Quine denies this. I motivate James’s controversial view by appealing to an episode in the history of medicine when a researcher self-experimented by swallowing a vial of bacteria that at the time had not been studied in much detail. The researcher’s commitment to his own as-yet untested hypothesis was based in part on emotional considerations. Finally, I argue that Quine’s insistence that emotions can never be relevant to adjusting our web of belief reflects a tacit holdover of one of logical positivism’s crucially anti-pragmatist commitments—that philosophy of science should focus exclusively on the context of justification, not the context of discovery. James’s emphasis on discovery as a (perhaps the) crucial locus for epistemological inquiry is characteristic of pragmatism in general. Since Quinean epistemology is always an epistemology of justification, he is not happily viewed as a member of the pragmatist tradition.
Keywords Web of Belief  W. V. O. Quine  Emotion  Context of Discovery  William James  Peptic Ulcer Disease  Barry Marshall  Pragmatism  History of Analytic Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on Amazon.com
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

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

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. Quine - 1951 - [Longmans, Green].
The Web of Belief.W. V. O. Quine & J. S. Ullian - 1970 - New York: Random House.
Realism with a Human Face.Hilary PUTNAM - 1990 - Harvard University Press.
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.R. Rorty - 1979 - Princeton University Press.

View all 29 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Science, Religion, and “The Will to Believe".Alexander Klein - 2015 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (1):72-117.
Quine and Pragmatism.Heikki J. Koskinen & Sami Pihlström - 2006 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 42 (3):309-346.
William James's "the Will to Believe" and the Ethics of Self-Experimentation.Jennifer Welchman - 2006 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 42 (2):229-241.
Quine and Pragmatism.Heikki J. Koskinen & Sami Pihlström - 2006 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 42 (3):309-346.
William James's "The Will to Believe" and the Ethics of Self-Experimentation.Jennifer Welchman - 2006 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 42 (2):229-241.
Klein on James on the Will to Believe.Cheryl Misak - 2015 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (1):118-28.
Logic and the Structure of the Web of Belief.Matthew Carlson - 2015 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 3 (5).
Idealism, Pragmatism, and the Will to Believe: Charles Renouvier and William James.Jeremy Dunham - 2015 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (4):1-23.
Peircean Pragmatism and the Limits of Justification.Mark Christopher Rollins - 1991 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
Distinguishing WV Quine and Donald Davidson.James Pearson - 2011 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 1 (1):1-22.
William James's "Will to Believe" Revisited.Hunter Brown - 1996 - Dissertation, Mcmaster University (Canada)

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-01-11

Total views
230 ( #37,732 of 2,403,546 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
29 ( #28,136 of 2,403,546 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes