Pursuit of Truth [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 45 (3):634-635 (1992)
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Abstract

In this valuable and interesting book, Quine gives us his current views on evidence, reference, meaning, intension, and truth. Viewing the problem of evidential support as that of specifying logical relations between the sentences of a theory and observation sentences, Quine presents a form of confirmational holism. Observation sentences are occasion sentences which are firmly and intersubjectively associated holophrastically with ranges of stimulations. Only testable sentences which directly imply observation sentences may be refuted by observation. All other testable sentences are disconfirmed or retained only as components of larger blocks of sentences. Quine mentions, but does not develop, reasoning in support of hypotheses which uses background beliefs and "the technology of probability and statistics".

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