For Quine, a strictly behaviorist analysis of language works best and brings us closest to truth. The first essay, on language, was dead boring, taking 20 pages to explain how a child learns a word, and Quine restricts himself to outward descriptions of what a word might mean.
His father, Cloyd Robert,  was a manufacturing entrepreneur founder of the Akron Equipment Company, which produced tire molds  and his mother, Harriett E. His thesis supervisor was Alfred North Whitehead.
He was then appointed a Harvard Junior Fellowwhich excused him from having to teach for four years. During the academic year —33, he travelled in Europe thanks to a Sheldon fellowship, meeting Polish logicians including Stanislaw Lesniewski and Alfred Tarski and members of the Vienna Circle including Rudolf Carnapas well as the logical positivist A.
Tarski survived the war and worked another 44 years in the US. During World War II, Quine lectured on logic in Brazil, in Portuguese, and served in the United States Navy in a military intelligence role, deciphering messages from German submarines, and reaching the rank of lieutenant commander.
For the academic year —, Quine was a fellow on the faculty in the Center for Advanced Studies at Wesleyan University. The deterioration of his short-term memory was so severe that he struggled to continue following arguments.
Quine also had considerable difficulty in his project to make the desired revisions to Word and Object.
Before passing away, Quine noted to Morton White, "I do not remember what my illness is called, Althusser or Alzheimer, but since I cannot remember it, it must be Alzheimer. An Intermittently Philosophical Dictionary, he wrote a defense of moral censorship ;  while, in his autobiography, he made some criticisms of American postwar academic culture.
Only after World War II did he, by virtue of seminal papers on ontologyepistemology and language, emerge as a major philosopher. By the s, he had worked out his "naturalized epistemology" whose aim was to answer all substantive questions of knowledge and meaning using the methods and tools of the natural sciences.
Quine roundly rejected the notion that there should be a "first philosophy", a theoretical standpoint somehow prior to natural science and capable of justifying it. These views are intrinsic to his naturalism. Like the logical positivists, Quine evinced little interest in the philosophical canon: Although Quine is not normally associated with verificationismsome philosophers believe the tenet is not incompatible with his general philosophy of language, citing his Harvard colleague B.
Skinner and his analysis of language in Verbal Behavior. Unlike them, however, he concluded that ultimately the definition was circular. In other words, Quine accepted that analytic statements are those that are true by definition, then argued that the notion of truth by definition was unsatisfactory.
The objection to synonymy hinges upon the problem of collateral information. We intuitively feel that there is a distinction between "All unmarried men are bachelors" and "There have been black dogs", but a competent English speaker will assent to both sentences under all conditions since such speakers also have access to collateral information bearing on the historical existence of black dogs.
Quine maintains that there is no distinction between universally known collateral information and conceptual or analytic truths. A traditional Wittgensteinian view of meaning held that each meaningful sentence was associated with a region in the space of possible worlds. The premise of confirmation holism is that all theories and the propositions derived from them are under-determined by empirical data data, sensory-data, evidence ; although some theories are not justifiable, failing to fit with the data or being unworkably complex, there are many equally justifiable alternatives.
Quine concluded his " Two Dogmas of Empiricism " as follows: As an empiricist I continue to think of the conceptual scheme of science as a tool, ultimately, for predicting future experience in the light of past experience. Physical objects are conceptually imported into the situation as convenient intermediaries not by definition in terms of experience, but simply as irreducible posits comparable, epistemologically, to the gods of Homer.
But in point of epistemological footing, the physical objects and the gods differ only in degree and not in kind. Both sorts of entities enter our conceptions only as cultural posits. For Duhem, underdetermination applies only to physics or possibly to natural sciencewhile for Quine it applies to all of human knowledge.
Thus, while it is possible to verify or falsify whole theories, it is not possible to verify or falsify individual statements. Almost any particular statement can be saved, given sufficiently radical modifications of the containing theory.
For Quine, scientific thought forms a coherent web in which any part could be altered in the light of empirical evidence, and in which no empirical evidence could force the revision of a given part.
Existence and its contrary[ edit ] The problem of non-referring names is an old puzzle in philosophy, which Quine captured when he wrote, A curious thing about the ontological problem is its simplicity.This entry has no external links. Add one.; Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server Configure custom .
Jan 26, · By Willard Van Orman Quine. ISBN ISBN This quantity contains the 1st of the toilet Dewey Lectures brought less than the auspices of Columbia University's Philosophy division in addition to different essays by way of the writer.
meant to explain the which means of the philosophical doctrines propounded by means of W. V. Quine in Word and Objects, the essays. The thesis of Ontological Relativity – that ontology (what exists) is relative – is only intelligible if one first understands Quine’s arguments for the indeterminacy of translation, presented in great detail in his book, Word and Object, and rehearsed briefly in the early sections of “Ontological Relativity.”.
W. V. Quine. In Ontological Relativity and Other Essays. New York: Columbia University Press () Abstract Epistemology naturalized by WVO Quine Keywords Naturalism Epistemology: Categories Naturalized Epistemology in Epistemology.
W. V. O. Quine in 20th Century PhilosophyAuthor: W. V. Quine. Ontological relativity and other essays. New York: Columbia University Press, ix+ pp. $ I This collection of six essays affords the best general statement by Professor Quine of his philosophy yet to appear between the covers of a single book.
Ontological Relativity and Other Essays has ratings and 5 reviews. Tyler said: Quine’s six essays take a pragmatic epistemological approach to meanin 4/5.