The Philosophy of W. V. Quine


ACLS Fellowship Program




This study involves analysis and interpretation of the philosophy of W. V. Quine, the leading analytic philosopher of the second half of the twentieth century. Quine is chiefly thought of as a critic. His criticism, however, is based on a systematic and powerful world-view. He denies that there is any source of knowledge other than that typified by natural science. His positive project is to articulate the constraints which this naturalism imposes, and to argue that human cognition can be understood within those constraints.Many thinkers have asserted that human beings are fully part of the natural world. What is distinctive about Quine’s philosophy is how rigorously he interprets this idea, and the lengths to which he goes to support the position.