Single Idea 10924

[catalogued under 10. Modality / A. Necessity / 11. Denial of Necessity]

Full Idea

Necessity resides in the way in which we say things, and not in the things we talk about.

Gist of Idea

Necessity is in the way in which we say things, and not things themselves

Source

Willard Quine (Three Grades of Modal Involvement [1953], p.176)

Book Reference

Quine,Willard: 'Ways of Paradox and other essays' [Harvard 1976], p.176


A Reaction

This is a culminating idea of Quine's thoroughgoing empiricism, as filtered through logical positivism. I would hardly dare to accuse Quine of a use/mention confusion (his own bÍte noir), but one seems to me to be lurking here.