Quine's naturalism

Weir, A. (2013) Quine's naturalism. In: Harman, G. and Lepore, E. (eds.) A Companion to W.V.O. Quine. Wiley-Blackwell: Chichester, pp. 114-147. ISBN 9780470672105 (doi: 10.1002/9781118607992)

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Starting with the distinction between epistemological and ontological naturalism, this chapter focuses most on Quine’s epistemological naturalism, not the ontological anti-naturalism he thought it leads to. It is argued that naturalised epistemology is not central to Quine’s epistemology. Quine’s key epistemological principle is:- follow the methods of science, and only those. Can Quine demarcate scientific methods from non-scientific ones? The problems which have been raised here, e.g. in the case of mathematics, are considered. A main theme is the relationship between Quine’s naturalism and reductionist forms of ‘scientistic’ naturalism. Quine is generally taken to be an anti-reductionist, unsurprisingly given his explicit anti-reductionist pronouncements from ‘Two Dogmas’ onwards. It is argued that the situation is more complex than this and that key Quinean arguments are driven by a positivistic reductionism he never entirely broke free from.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Weir, Professor Alan
Authors: Weir, A.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Philosophy

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