This book is a translation of W.V. Quine's Kant Lectures, given as a series at Stanford University in 1980. It provide a short and useful summary of Quine's philosophy. There are four lectures altogether: I. Prolegomena: Mind and its Place in Nature; II. Endolegomena: From Ostension to Quantification; III. Endolegomena loipa: The forked animal; and IV. Epilegomena: What's It all About? The Kant Lectures have been published to date only in Italian and German translation. The present book is filled out (...) with the translator's critical Introduction, "The esoteric Quine?" a bibliography based on Quine's sources, and an Index for the volume. (shrink)
A compact, coherent introduction to the study of rational belief, this text provides points of entry to such areas of philosophy as theory of knowledge, methodology of science, and philosophy of language. The book is accessible to all undergraduates and presupposes no philosophical training.
Our only channel of information about the world is the impact of external forces on our sensory surfaces. So says science itself. There is no clairvoyance. How, then, can we have parlayed this meager sensory input into a full-blown scientific theory of the world? This is itself a scientific question. The pursuit of it, with free use of scientific theory, is what I call naturalized epistemology. The Roots of Reference falls within that domain. Its more specific concern, within that domain, (...) is reference to concrete and abstract objects: what such reference consists in, and how we achieve it. (shrink)
The most influential philosopher in the analytic tradition of his time, Willard Van Orman Quine changed the way we think about language and its relation to the world. His rejection of the analytic/synthetic distinction, his scepticism about modal logic and essentialism, his celebrated theme of the indeterminacy of translation, and his advocacy of naturalism have challenged key assumptions of the prevailing orthodoxy and helped shape the development of much of recent philosophy.This introduction to Quine's philosophical ideas provides philosophers, students, and (...) generalists with an authoritative analysis of Quine's lasting contributions to philosophy. The major themes covered include the adaptation of the language of modern logic to formulate a criterion of ontological commitment; Quine's own ontological commitments; Duhemian-Holistic empiricism and the attendant rejection of a priori knowledge; the nature and grounds of logical truth; Quine's criticisms of such notions as meaning, synonymy, analyticity, and necessity; the conjecture of the indeterminacy of translation; modal logic; propositional attitudes; and Quine's work on naturalized epistemology.Quine's ideas throughout are contrasted with more traditional views, as well as with contemporaries such as Frege, Russell, Carnap, Davidson, Field, Kripke, and Chomsky, enabling the reader to grasp a clear sense of the place of Quine's views in twentieth-century philosophy and the important criticisms of them. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: It is not W.V. Quine’s aim in “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” to prove against all-comers that the analytic/synthetic distinction is untenable or to provide a novel conception of our knowledge. He aims to undermine the empiricist’s appeal to the distinction and show what empiricism unencumbered by dogma comes to. Focusing on §§1-3 and §6, I argue that his treatment of analyticity is framed by important philosophical assumptions and the conception of knowledge he defends is one to which he had (...) long been committed. “Two Dogmas” is less easily dismissed when read in the context of Quine’s early lectures on Carnap. RÉSUMÉ : Le but de W.V. Quine, dans «Deux dogmes de l’empirisme», n’est pas de prouver contre tous que la distinction analytique/synthétique est intenable ni de fournir une conception originale de la connaissance. Il veut plutôt ébranler l’attrait de l’empiriste pour la distinction et montrer ce en quoi réside un empirisme exempt de dogme. En me concentrant sur §§1-3 et §6, je soutiens que son traitement de l’analyticité est structuré par des hypothèses philosophiques fondamentales et que la conception de la connaissance qu’il défend l’habite depuis fort longtemps. «Deux Dogmes» est moins facilement invalidé quand il est interprété en référence aux premières conférences de Quine sur Carnap. (shrink)