Is Quine a Metaphysician?

Review of Metaphysics 31 (3):406 - 430 (1978)

Abstract
The author wishes to discover a way in which the philosophy of w v quine can be described relative to its place in the history of metaphysics. In order to facilitate such a classification, The author distinguishes between the aristotelian notion of metaphysics, As the study of being qua being or ultimate reality, And kant's transcendental approach in which it is admitted that only appearances can ever be described and that things can never be known as they are in themselves. It is the author's contention that quine's metaphysics can most appropriately be understood as following in the tradition of kant's transcendentalism. The argument for this claim is based on quine's repeated assertion that the methods and procedures of metaphysics are continuous with those of the natural sciences. The logic of discovery in the sciences, However, Quine would consider to be not so much inductive as hypothetico-Deductive; and since hypotheses would appear to be neither verifiable nor falsifiable in any strict sense, The only alternative is to consider that such hypotheses are subject only to a transcendental justification. (edited)
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632  
DOI revmetaph19783133
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