Quine's two dogmas

Elliott Sober
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Quine’s publication in 1951 of “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” was a watershed event in 20th century philosophy. In that essay, Quine sought to demolish the concepts of analyticity and a priority; he also sketched a positive proposal of his own -- epistemological holism. There can be little doubt that philosophy changed as a result of Quine’s work. The question I want to address here is whether it should have. My goal is not to argue for a return to the halcyon days of the logical empiricists. Rather, I want to take stock. Now, almost fifty years after the publication of “Two Dogmas,” what view should we take of analyticity, the a priori, and epistemological holism, and of what Quine said about these topics?
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