Quine replacement thesis

His father, Cloyd Robert, [15] was a manufacturing entrepreneur founder of the Akron Equipment Company, which produced tire molds [16] 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.

Quine replacement thesis

His father, Cloyd Robert, [16] was a manufacturing entrepreneur founder of the Akron Equipment Company, which produced tire molds [17] 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.

Quine replacement thesis

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 Quine replacement thesis a defense of moral censorship ; [23] while, in his autobiography, he made some criticisms of American postwar academic culture.

Only after World War II did he, by Quine replacement thesis 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: Two Dogmas of Empiricism In the s and 40s, discussions with Rudolf CarnapNelson Goodman and Alfred Tarskiamong others, led Quine to doubt the tenability of the distinction between "analytic" statements—those true simply by the meanings of their words, such as "All bachelors are unmarried"—and "synthetic" statements, those true or false by virtue of facts about the world, such as "There is a cat on the mat.

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.

Quine's chief objection to analyticity is with the notion of synonymy sameness of meaninga sentence being analytic, just in case it substitutes a synonym for one "black" in a proposition like "All black things are black" or any other logical truth.

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.

Replacement Naturalism I: Against Conceptual Analysis

Quine maintains that there is no distinction between universally known collateral information and conceptual or analytic truths. Another approach to Quine's objection to analyticity and synonymy emerges from the modal notion of logical possibility. A traditional Wittgensteinian view of meaning held that each meaningful sentence was associated with a region in the space of possible worlds.

Confirmation holism and ontological relativity[ edit ] The central theses underlying the indeterminacy of translation and other extensions of Quine's work are ontological relativity and the related doctrine of confirmation holism.

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.

While the Greeks' assumption that unobservable Homeric gods exist is false, and our supposition of unobservable electromagnetic waves is true, both are to be justified solely by their ability to explain our observations.

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.

For my part I do, qua lay physicist, believe in physical objects and not in Homer's gods; and I consider it a scientific error to believe otherwise. 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. Quine's ontological relativism evident in the passage above led him to agree with Pierre Duhem that for any collection of empirical evidencethere would always be many theories able to account for it.

However, Duhem's holism is much more restricted and limited than Quine's. 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.Naturalized epistemology, coined by W.

V. O.

Quine replacement thesis

Quine, is a collection of philosophic views concerned with the theory of knowledge that emphasize the role of natural scientific methods. This shared emphasis on scientific methods of studying knowledge shifts focus to the empirical processes of knowledge acquisition and away from many traditional philosophical questions.

Varieties of Naturalism: Methodological and Substantive

Pierre Duhem (–) was a French physicist and historian and philosopher of science. As a physicist, he championed “energetics,” holding generalized thermodynamics as foundational for physical theory, that is, thinking that all of chemistry and physics, including mechanics, electricity, and magnetism, should be derivable from .

Abstract. M.A., Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Quine’s epistemology amounts to what has been called the replacement thesis, according to which epistemology becomes a part of science by being replaced by the latter.

There are two kinds of argumentative routes to Replacement Naturalism, both due to Quine: the first arises from doubts about the analytic-synthetic distinction (Quine ); the second from doubts about foundationalism (Quine ).

Quine’s thesis of underdetermination plays a central role in his philosophy of language and philosophy of science. As such it has generated a lot of philosophical debate and come to exert far-reaching influence on contemporary philosophical attitudes toward language and science directly or indirectly.

Quine's argument for the replacement thesis in chapter 1 is this: the history of epistemology is largely the history of the foundationalist program. Foundationalists tried to show that there is a class of beliefs -- typically beliefs about our own sense experience -- about which it is impossible to be wrong.

Pierre Duhem (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)