Review of Metaphysics 25 (1):146-147 (1971)

The double issue of Synthese devoted to essays on the work of W. V. Quine has been re-issued under hard cover with an additional paper by Grice on "Vacuous Names" and a 13-page bibliography of Quine's writings. With the exception of Berry's "Logic with Platonism" and Jensen's "On The Consistency of a Slight. Modification of Quine's New Foundation," the papers are concerned with the key issues of Word and Object. Quine's responses to each of the contributors are not as helpful as they might be, but are at times quite illuminating. He dispels Stenius's view in "Beginning with Ordinary Things" that Quine holds a Russellian epistemology, for example, and clarifies somewhat his account of ontic commitment in replying to Hintikka's "Behavioral Criteria of Radical Translation." Hintikka argues that "to be is to be a value of a bound variable" presupposes the principle, "to be is to be an object of search." Quine rejects this view, identifying his ontology with the range of the variables as opposed to the class of all things to which a theory is ontically committed. The introduction to chapter two of Word and Object by Harman is quite helpful, suggesting among other things that Quine's use of 'propositional attitude' is a misnomer to be better replaced by 'sentential attitude'. An interesting and provocative paper by Kaplan offers a Fregean alternative to Quine's general mode of handling referentially opaque contexts, allowing "Quantifying In" with the variable ranging over expressions. Interestingly enough, Quine's remarks are rather laudatory and sympathetic. Davidson's "On Saying That" suggests a roughly similar account of oratio obliqua discourse. Føllesdal and Sellars discuss "Quine on Modality" and "Some Problems about Belief." There is a discussion of "Quine's Philosophy of Science" by Smart, tracing a shift from instrumentalism to realism on the part of Quine. Also included are papers by Chomsky, Stroud, and Geach, as well as Strawson's familiar "Singular Terms and Predication." In spite of the imposing price and the uneven quality of the essays, the book is a desirable piece of Quineana.--K. T.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1971251195
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