Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):771-784 (2013)

Authors
Sander Verhaegh
Tilburg University
Allard Tamminga
University of Greifswald
Abstract
Quine's holistic empiricist account of scientific inquiry can be characterized by three constitutive principles: *noncontradiction*, *universal revisability* and *pragmatic ordering*. We show that these constitutive principles cannot be regarded as statements within a holistic empiricist's scientific theory of the world. This claim is a corollary of our refutation of Katz's [1998, 2002] argument that holistic empiricism suffers from what he calls the Revisability Paradox. According to Katz, Quine's empiricism is incoherent because its constitutive principles cannot themselves be rationally revised. Using Gärdenfors and Makinson's logic of belief revision based on epistemic entrenchment, we argue that Katz wrongly assumes that the constitutive principles are *statements* within a holistic empiricist's theory of the world. Instead, we show that constitutive principles are best seen as *properties* of a holistic empiricist's theory of scientific inquiry and we submit that, without Katz's mistaken assumption, the paradox cannot be formulated. We argue that our perspective on the status of constitutive principles is perfectly in line with Quinean orthodoxy. In conclusion, we compare our findings with van Fraassen's [2002] argument that we should think of empiricism as a stance, rather than as a doctrine.
Keywords Quine  Holistic empiricism  Constitutive principles  Revisability paradox  Logic of belief revision  Empirical stance
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1080/00048402.2013.772648
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
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

From a Logical Point of View.W. V. O. Quine - 1953 - Harvard University Press.
Philosophy of Logic.W. V. O. Quine - 1970 - Harvard University Press.
The Web of Belief.W. V. O. Quine & J. S. Ullian - 1970 - New York: Random House.

View all 55 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Quine's ‘Needlessly Strong’ Holism.Sander Verhaegh - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 61:11-20.
Is Everything Revisable?Peter Baumann - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4:349-357.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Naturalism and the Paradox of Revisability.Mark Colyvan - 2006 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (1):1–11.
A New Revisability Paradox.Daniel Y. Elstein - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (3):308–318.
On Using Inconsistent Expressions.Arvid Båve - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (1):133-148.
Apriority and Applied Mathematics.Robert A. Holland - 1992 - Synthese 92 (3):349 - 370.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-04-15

Total views
438 ( #18,189 of 2,444,613 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
33 ( #22,662 of 2,444,613 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes