Articles #Quine


Quine's Naturalism

I find Quine’s variant of naturalism fascinating because he is not particularly interested in these big, often very polarized, debates between naturalists and supernaturalists. Rather, he pretty much assumes that these debates have been settled and he seeks to advance our scientific worldview by showing that a truly naturalistic picture of reality also requires that we radically rethink our philosophical views about truth, justification, mind, reference, and meaning. In short, Quine argues that traditional philosophical disciplines like metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of language need to be naturalized as well. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Sander Verhaegh Published on: Dec 22, 2018 @ 09:12

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Quine's Ideology, Metaphysical Dragons, Fidelity, Confabulations and other Stuff

Quine's Ideology, Metaphysical Dragons, Fidelity, Confabulations and other Stuff

In metaphysics, there are various disputes that come down to a choice between rival theories. These rival theories have different ideologies that, presumably, are different with respect to how well they correspond to the world’s structure. So, we should base our choice at least in part on which theory we think is most likely to have the most accurate ideology. How do we determine which that is? I favor a virtue-driven methodology. Once a dispute reaches a mature state of stability -- in the sense that the main theoretical options are coherent, their consequences have been identified, and so on -- we can compare the rival theories with respect to various theoretical virtues, features of the theory that make it more likely to be correct. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Peter Finocchiaro.

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Reflections on Nominalism and on Kripke

Reflections on Nominalism and on Kripke

I have written much — much too much — about nominalism. I keep trying to get away from it, but I keep being drawn back by invitations to contribute to volumes on this or that. Nominalism in modern philosophy of mathematics is the view that denies, for philosophical reasons, the truth of the standard existence theorems in the subject, beginning with Euclid's on the existence of infinitely many primes. According to this view, Wiles's proof (of Fermat's conjecture) that for n > 2 that there are no two numbers that are nth powers and whose sum is also an nth power is in one sense superfluous, since philosophy has already established that there are no numbers at all. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews John P Burgess

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A Revisionary History of Analytic Philosophy

A Revisionary History of Analytic Philosophy

When you start looking closely at the conditions which made possible the emergence of early analytic philosophy in Cambridge in the late 1890s, you find great variety and a host of influences at work—from engagement with the great dead philosophers, other philosophical schools in England, Scotland and further afield from the continent, and other disciplines as well, including mathematics, the natural sciences and classics. Early analytic philosophy was an interdisciplinary and Pan-European achievement. I think that Russell and Moore’s intellectual stature didn’t consist solely in their intrinsic brilliance, although they had that too, but in their capacity to channel these forces even for a while. And we can say something similar about the Polish School and the Vienna Circle which succeeded Moore and Russell at the forefront of developments in analytic philosophy. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Fraser MacBride

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Parmenides and Spinoza

Parmenides and Spinoza

I’m keenly aware of the possibility of the Parmenidean (e.g., me!) undermining their own position. After all, explanation itself seems to be relational; things are explained (often at any rate) in terms of other things. I don’t shy away from this apparent or even real self-undermining. For me, it’s a feature not a bug. And I embrace this self-undermining, in much the same way that Parmenides may have (see especially Owen’s reading of Parmenides), as Wittgenstein does at the end of the Tractatus, as Bradley does, and as my skeptical hero, Sextus Empiricus, does. In this way, I offer—paradoxically perhaps—a relational metaphysical challenge to relational metaphysics itself. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Michael Della Rocca

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How to Idealize

How to Idealize

Idealization is about simplifying things whereas approximation is about distance from the actual truth in modal space (that does not necessarily involve simplification). Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Michael Shaffer.

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