Ideas of Willard Quine, by Theme
[American, 1908  2000, Born in Ohio. Studied with Carnap in Vienna. Professor at Harvard University. Taught Davidson and Lewis.]
green numbers give full details 
back to list of philosophers 
expand these ideas
1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 3. Wisdom Deflated
9764

Inspiration and social improvement need wisdom, but not professional philosophy

1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 6. Hopes for Philosophy
9763

For a good theory of the world, we must focus on our flabby foundational vocabulary

1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 1. Nature of Metaphysics
13736

Quinean metaphysics just lists the beings, which is a domain with no internal structure [Schaffer,J]

1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 3. Metaphysical Systems
1627

Any statement can be held true if we make enough adjustment to the rest of the system

1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 4. Metaphysics as Science
22153

Quine rejects Carnap's view that science and philosophy are distinct [Boulter]

22438

Philosophy is largely concerned with finding the minimum that science could get by with

6891

Quine's naturalistic and empirical view is based entirely on firstorder logic and set theory [Mautner]

1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 6. Metaphysics as Conceptual
11103

We aren't stuck with our native conceptual scheme; we can gradually change it

6310

Enquiry needs a conceptual scheme, so we should retain the best available

1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 6. Logical Analysis
8996

If if time is money then if time is not money then time is money then if if if time is not money...

22436

Logicians don't paraphrase logic into language, because they think in the symbolic language

1. Philosophy / G. Scientific Philosophy / 3. Scientism
16943

Philosophy is continuous with science, and has no external vantage point

2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 3. NonContradiction
9023

If you say that a contradiction is true, you change the meaning of 'not', and so change the subject

6564

To affirm 'p and notp' is to have mislearned 'and' or 'not'

2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 6. Ockham's Razor
22431

Good algorithms and theories need many occurrences of just a few elements

8207

The quest for simplicity drove scientists to posit new entities, such as molecules in gases

8208

In arithmetic, ratios, negatives, irrationals and imaginaries were created in order to generalise

2. Reason / D. Definition / 1. Definitions
1623

Definition rests on synonymy, rather than explaining it

2. Reason / D. Definition / 7. Contextual Definition
8995

Definition by words is determinate but relative; fixing contexts could make it absolute

19047

Bentham's contextual definitions preserved terms after their denotation became doubtful

19048

Contextual definition shifted the emphasis from words to whole sentences

2. Reason / D. Definition / 12. Paraphrase
21699

Russell offered a paraphrase of definite description, to avoid the commitment to objects

2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 1. Fallacy
21697

The Struthionic Fallacy is that of burying one's head in the sand

3. Truth / C. Correspondence Truth / 1. Correspondence Truth
21750

Science is sympathetic to truth as correspondence, since it depends on observation

3. Truth / F. Semantic Truth / 2. Semantic Truth
9012

Talk of 'truth' when sentences are mentioned; it reminds us that reality is the point of sentences

3. Truth / H. Deflationary Truth / 1. Redundant Truth
9011

Truth is redundant for single sentences; we do better to simply speak the sentence

4. Formal Logic / B. Propositional Logic PL / 2. Tools of Propositional Logic / a. Symbols of PL
22435

The logician's '→' does not mean the English ifthen

4. Formal Logic / B. Propositional Logic PL / 2. Tools of Propositional Logic / e. Axioms of PL
9013

We can eliminate 'or' from our basic theory, by paraphrasing 'p or q' as 'not(notp and notq)'

4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 1. Modal Logic
10928

Maybe we can quantify modally if the objects are intensional, but it seems unlikely

5745

Quine says quantified modal logic creates nonsense, bad ontology, and false essentialism [Melia]

13591

Quantified modal logic collapses if essence is withdrawn

4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 6. Temporal Logic
22433

It is important that the quantification over temporal entities is timeless

4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 1. Set Theory
3302

Set theory is full of Platonist metaphysics, so Quine aimed to keep it separate from logic [Benardete,JA]

4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 4. Axioms for Sets / a. Axioms for sets
9879

NF has no models, but just blocks the comprehension axiom, to avoid contradictions [Dummett]

4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 4. Axioms for Sets / o. Axiom of Constructibility V = L
10211

Quine wants V = L for a cleaner theory, despite the scepticism of most theorists [Shapiro]

4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 4. Axioms for Sets / p. Axiom of Reducibility
21717

Reducibility undermines type ramification, and is committed to the existence of functions [Linsky,B]

18170

The Axiom of Reducibility is selfeffacing: if true, it isn't needed

4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 5. Conceptions of Set / d. Naïve logical sets
21695

The set scheme discredited by paradoxes is actually the most natural one

4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 7. Natural Sets
21693

Russell's antinomy challenged the idea that any condition can produce a set

4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 8. Critique of Set Theory
3336

Two things can never entail three things [Benardete,JA]

5. Theory of Logic / A. Overview of Logic / 1. Overview of Logic
13010

In order to select the logic justified by experience, we would need to use a lot of logic [Boghossian]

9020

My logical grammar has sentences by predication, then negation, conjunction, and existential quantification

5. Theory of Logic / A. Overview of Logic / 3. Value of Logic
9028

Maybe logical truth reflects reality, but in different ways in different languages

5. Theory of Logic / A. Overview of Logic / 6. Classical Logic
9002

Elementary logic requires truthfunctions, quantifiers (and variables), identity, and also sets of variables

5. Theory of Logic / A. Overview of Logic / 7. SecondOrder Logic
13639

Quine says higherorder items are intensional, and lack a clearly defined identity relation [Shapiro]

8789

Various strategies try to deal with the ontological commitments of secondorder logic [Hale/Wright]

10014

Quine rejects secondorder logic, saying that predicates refer to multiple objects [Hodes]

10828

Quantifying over predicates is treating them as names of entities

5. Theory of Logic / B. Logical Consequence / 1. Logical Consequence
13681

Logical consequence is marked by being preserved under all nonlogical substitutions [Sider]

5. Theory of Logic / C. Ontology of Logic / 1. Ontology of Logic
12219

Whether a modal claim is true depends on how the object is described [Fine,K]

22437

Logical languages are rooted in ordinary language, and that connection must be kept

5. Theory of Logic / C. Ontology of Logic / 3. IfThenism
10064

Quine quickly dismisses Ifthenism [Musgrave]

5. Theory of Logic / C. Ontology of Logic / 4. Logic by Convention
20296

Logic needs general conventions, but that needs logic to apply them to individual cases [Rey]

8998

Claims that logic and mathematics are conventional are either empty, uninteresting, or false

8999

Logic isn't conventional, because logic is needed to infer logic from conventions

9000

If a convention cannot be communicated until after its adoption, what is its role?

5. Theory of Logic / D. Assumptions for Logic / 1. Bivalence
19043

Bivalence applies not just to sentences, but that general terms are true or false of each object

5. Theory of Logic / D. Assumptions for Logic / 2. Excluded Middle
9024

Excluded middle has three different definitions

5. Theory of Logic / D. Assumptions for Logic / 4. Identity in Logic
10012

Quantification theory can still be proved complete if we add identity

5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 1. Logical Form
22434

Reduction to logical forms first simplifies idioms and grammar, then finds a single reading of it

5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 2. Logical Connectives / a. Logical connectives
13829

If logical truths essentially depend on logical constants, we had better define the latter [Hacking]

5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 4. Variables in Logic
12221

'Corner quotes' (quasiquotation) designate 'whatever these terms designate'

1618

We study bound variables not to know reality, but to know what reality language asserts

5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 6. Relations in Logic
21698

All relations, apart from ancestrals, can be reduced to simpler logic

5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / a. Names
8453

If we had to name objects to make existence claims, we couldn't discuss all the real numbers

5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / b. Names as descriptive
10925

Failure of substitutivity shows that a personal name is not purely referential

5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / f. Names eliminated
19321

We might do without names, by converting them into predicates [Kirkham]

8455

Canonical notation needs quantification, variables and predicates, but not names [Orenstein]

8456

Quine extended Russell's defining away of definite descriptions, to also define away names [Orenstein]

9204

Quine's arguments fail because he naively conflates names with descriptions [Fine,K]

9016

Names are not essential, because naming can be turned into predication

5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 2. Descriptions / c. Theory of definite descriptions
1611

Names can be converted to descriptions, and Russell showed how to eliminate those

5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 1. Quantification
10926

Quantifying into referentially opaque contexts often produces nonsense

10922

Objects are the values of variables, so a referentially opaque context cannot be quantified into

10538

Finite quantification can be eliminated in favour of disjunction and conjunction [Dummett]

10311

No sense can be made of quantification into opaque contexts [Hale]

9015

Universal quantification is widespread, but it is definable in terms of existential quantification

5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 4. Substitutional Quantification
10793

Quine thought substitutional quantification confused use and mention, but then saw its nominalist appeal [Marcus (Barcan)]

10801

Either reference really matters, or we don't need to replace it with substitutions

21642

If quantification is all substitutional, there is no ontology

9025

You can't base quantification on substituting names for variables, if the irrationals cannot all be named

9026

Some quantifications could be false substitutionally and true objectually, because of nameless objects

5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 5. SecondOrder Quantification
10705

Putting a predicate letter in a quantifier is to make it the name of an entity

5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 6. Plural Quantification
12798

Plurals can in principle be paraphrased away altogether

5. Theory of Logic / I. Semantics of Logic / 3. Logical Truth
9027

A sentence is logically true if all sentences with that grammatical structure are true

5. Theory of Logic / L. Paradox / 3. Antinomies
21691

Antinomies contradict accepted ways of reasoning, and demand revisions

5. Theory of Logic / L. Paradox / 4. Paradoxes in Logic / a. Achilles paradox
21690

Whenever the pursuer reaches the spot where the pursuer has been, the pursued has moved on

5. Theory of Logic / L. Paradox / 5. Paradoxes in Set Theory / a. Set theory paradoxes
9003

Set theory was struggling with higher infinities, when new paradoxes made it baffling

5. Theory of Logic / L. Paradox / 5. Paradoxes in Set Theory / d. Russell's paradox
21689

A barber shaves only those who do not shave themselves. So does he shave himself?

21694

Membership conditions which involve membership and nonmembership are paradoxical

5. Theory of Logic / L. Paradox / 6. Paradoxes in Language / a. The Liar paradox
21692

If we write it as '"this sentence is false" is false', there is no paradox

6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 2. Geometry
8994

If analytic geometry identifies figures with arithmetical relations, logicism can include geometry

16949

Klein summarised geometry as grouped together by transformations

6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Nature of Numbers / e. Ordinal numbers
17905

Any progression will do nicely for numbers; they can all then be used to measure multiplicity

6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 3. Axioms for Geometry
8997

There are four different possible conventional accounts of geometry

6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 6. Mathematics as Set Theory / a. Mathematics is set theory
8463

Maths can be reduced to logic and set theory

8203

All the arithmetical entities can be reduced to classes of integers, and hence to sets

6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 7. Mathematical Structuralism / a. Structuralism
10242

I apply structuralism to concrete and abstract objects indiscriminately

6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 3. Mathematical Nominalism
21696

Nominalism rejects both attributes and classes (where extensionalism accepts the classes)

6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 4. Mathematical Empiricism / a. Mathematical empiricism
17738

Quine blurs the difference between knowledge of arithmetic and of physics [Jenkins]

6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 4. Mathematical Empiricism / b. Indispensability of mathematics
9556

Nearly all of mathematics has to quantify over abstract objects

18198

Mathematics is part of science; transfinite mathematics I take as mostly uninterpreted

6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 6. Logicism / a. Early logicism
8993

If mathematics follows from definitions, then it is conventional, and part of logic

6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 6. Logicism / b. Type theory
21557

Russell confused use and mention, and reduced classes to properties, not to language [Lackey]

6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 6. Logicism / d. Logicism critique
1613

Logicists cheerfully accept reference to bound variables and all sorts of abstract entities

9004

If set theory is not actually a branch of logic, then Frege's derivation of arithmetic would not be from logic

1635

Mathematics reduces to set theory (which is a bit vague and unobvious), but not to logic proper

6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 7. Formalism
1616

Formalism says maths is built of meaningless notations; these build into rules which have meaning

6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 10. Constructivism / b. Intuitionism
1615

Intuitionism says classes are invented, and abstract entities are constructed from specified ingredients

8467

Intuitionists only admit numbers properly constructed, but classical maths covers all reals in a 'limit' [Orenstein]

8466

For Quine, intuitionist ontology is inadequate for classical mathematics [Orenstein]

6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 10. Constructivism / c. Conceptualism
1614

Conceptualism holds that there are universals but they are mindmade

7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 1. Nature of Existence
12210

Quine's ontology is wrong; his question is scientific, and his answer is partly philosophical [Fine,K]

7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 2. Types of Existence
10241

For Quine, there is only one way to exist [Shapiro]

7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / b. Being and existence
16966

Philosophers tend to distinguish broad 'being' from narrower 'existence'  but I reject that

7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / g. Particular being
4064

The idea of a thing and the idea of existence are two sides of the same coin [Crane]

7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 6. Criterion for Existence
19277

Quine rests existence on bound variables, because he thinks singular terms can be analysed away [Hale]

16965

All we have of general existence is what existential quantifiers express

1633

Absolute ontological questions are meaningless, because the answers are circular definitions

7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 2. Processes
11092

A river is a process, with stages; if we consider it as one thing, we are considering a process

7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 4. Events / c. Reduction of events
8205

Explaining events just by bodies can't explain two events identical in spacetime

7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 7. Abstract/Concrete / a. Abstract/concrete
11093

We don't say 'red' is abstract, unlike a river, just because it has discontinuous shape

1630

We can only see an alien language in terms of our own thought structures (e.g. physical/abstract)

7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 8. Stuff / a. Pure stuff
16939

Mass terms just concern spread, but other terms involve both spread and individuation

7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 5. Physicalism
18438

Every worldly event, without exception, is a redistribution of microphysical states

10243

My ontology is quarks etc., classes of such things, classes of such classes etc.

7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. Vagueness / d. Vagueness as linguistic
19042

Terms learned by ostension tend to be vague, because that must be quick and unrefined

7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / a. Ontological commitment
8496

What actually exists does not, of course, depend on language

11101

General terms don't commit us ontologically, but singular terms with substitution do

19485

Names have no ontological commitment, because we can deny that they name anything

10667

A logically perfect language could express all truths, so all truths must be logically expressible [Hossack]

7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / b. Commitment of quantifiers
1610

To be is to be the value of a variable, which amounts to being in the range of reference of a pronoun

19486

We can use quantification for commitment to unnameable things like the real numbers

5747

"No entity without identity"  our ontology must contain items with settled identity conditions [Melia]

16963

Existence is implied by the quantifiers, not by the constants

7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / c. Commitment of predicates
16021

Quine says we can expand predicates easily (ideology), but not names (ontology) [Noonan]

16964

Theories are committed to objects of which some of its predicates must be true

7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / d. Commitment of theories
8459

Fictional quantification has no ontology, so we study ontology through scientific theories [Orenstein]

8497

An ontology is like a scientific theory; we accept the simplest scheme that fits disorderly experiences

3325

For Quine everything exists theoretically, as reference, predication and quantification [Benardete,JA]

4216

Express a theory in firstorder predicate logic; its ontology is the types of bound variable needed for truth [Lowe]

18966

Ontological commitment of theories only arise if they are classically quantified

18964

Ontology is relative to both a background theory and a translation manual

7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / e. Ontological commitment problems
16261

If commitment rests on firstorder logic, we obviously lose the ontology concerning predication [Maudlin]

7698

If to be is to be the value of a variable, we must already know the values available [Jacquette]

19492

Quine is hopeless circular, deriving ontology from what is literal, and 'literal' from good ontology [Yablo]

14490

You can be implicitly committed to something without quantifying over it [Thomasson]

7. Existence / E. Categories / 1. Categories
16961

In formal terms, a category is the range of some style of variables

7. Existence / E. Categories / 4. Category Realism
16462

The quest for ultimate categories is the quest for a simple clear pattern of notation

7. Existence / E. Categories / 5. Category AntiRealism
11096

Discourse generally departmentalizes itself to some degree

8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 1. Nature of Properties
8461

The category of objects incorporates the old distinction of substances and their modes

8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 10. Properties as Predicates
8534

Quine says the predicate of a true statement has no ontological implications [Armstrong]

8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 12. Denial of Properties
7925

There is no proper identity concept for properties, and it is hard to distinguish one from two

10295

Quine suggests that properties can be replaced with extensional entities like sets [Shapiro]

8479

Don't analyse 'red is a colour' as involving properties. Say 'all red things are coloured things' [Orenstein]

6078

Quine brought classes into semantics to get rid of properties [McGinn]

3322

Quine says that if secondorder logic is to quantify over properties, that can be done in firstorder predicate logic [Benardete,JA]

9017

Predicates are not names; predicates are the other parties to predication

18439

Because things can share attributes, we cannot individuate attributes clearly

8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 3. Powers as Derived
14296

Dispositions are physical states of mechanism; when known, these replace the old disposition term

8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / a. Dispositions
15723

Either dispositions rest on structures, or we keep saying 'all things being equal'

16948

Once we know the mechanism of a disposition, we can eliminate 'similarity'

8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / d. Dispositions as occurrent
15490

Explain unmanifested dispositions as structural similarities to objects which have manifested them [Martin,CB]

16945

We judge things to be soluble if they are the same kind as, or similar to, things that do dissolve

8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 1. Universals
1612

Realism, conceptualism and nominalism in medieval universals reappear in maths as logicism, intuitionism and formalism

8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 2. Need for Universals
3751

Universals are acceptable if they are needed to make an accepted theory true [Jacquette]

8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / b. Nominalism about universals
15402

There is no entity called 'redness', and that some things are red is ultimate and irreducible

9006

Commitment to universals is as arbitrary or pragmatic as the adoption of a new system of bookkeeping

8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 3. Predicate Nominalism
4443

Quine has argued that predicates do not have any ontological commitment [Armstrong]

8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 4. Concept Nominalism
11099

Understanding 'is square' is knowing when to apply it, not knowing some object

8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 5. Class Nominalism
8504

Quine aims to deal with properties by the use of eternal open sentences, or classes [Devitt]

7970

Quine is committed to sets, but is more a Class Nominalist than a Platonist [Macdonald,C]

18442

You only know an attribute if you know what things have it

8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 6. Mereological Nominalism
11094

'Red' is a single concrete object in spacetime; 'red' and 'drop' are parts of a red drop

11097

Red is the largest red thing in the universe

9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 1. Physical Objects
8498

Treating scattered sensations as single objects simplifies our understanding of experience

1628

If physical objects are a myth, they are useful for making sense of experience

8464

Physical objects in spacetime are just events or processes, no matter how disconnected

7924

The notion of a physical object is by far the most useful one for science

9018

A physical object is the fourdimensional material content of a portion of spacetime

9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 2. Abstract Objects / b. Need for abstracta
13387

Our conceptual scheme becomes more powerful when we posit abstract objects

9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Impossible objects
15783

Definite descriptions can't unambiguously pick out an object which doesn't exist [Lycan]

9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / a. Individuation
8277

I prefer 'no object without identity' to Quine's 'no entity without identity' [Lowe]

18441

No entity without identity (which requires a principle of individuation)

9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 9. Essence and Properties
10923

Aristotelian essentialism says a thing has some necessary and some nonnecessary properties

9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 15. Against Essentialism
10929

Aristotelian essence of the object has become the modern essence of meaning

10930

Quantification into modal contexts requires objects to have an essence

8482

Mathematicians must be rational but not twolegged, cyclists the opposite. So a mathematical cyclist?

12136

Cyclist are not actually essentially twolegged [Brody]

13590

Essences can make sense in a particular context or enquiry, as the most basic predicates

9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 4. FourDimensionalism
9019

Fourd objects helps predication of what no longer exists, and quantification over items from different times

9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 1. Concept of Identity
17595

To unite a sequence of ostensions to make one object, a prior concept of identity is needed

18965

We know what things are by distinguishing them, so identity is part of ontology

9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 2. Defining Identity
17594

We can paraphrase 'x=y' as a sequence of the form 'if Fx then Fy'

9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 6. Identity between Objects
18440

Identity of physical objects is just being coextensive

9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 7. Indiscernible Objects
11095

We should just identify any items which are indiscernible within a given discourse

10. Modality / A. Necessity / 2. Nature of Necessity
10921

Necessity can attach to statementnames, to statements, and to open sentences

10. Modality / A. Necessity / 4. De re / De dicto modality
14645

To be necessarily greater than 7 is not a trait of 7, but depends on how 7 is referred to

10. Modality / A. Necessity / 6. Logical Necessity
12188

Contrary to some claims, Quine does not deny logical necessity [McFetridge]

9001

Frege moved Kant's question about a priori synthetic to 'how is logical certainty possible?'

10. Modality / A. Necessity / 11. Denial of Necessity
9201

Whether 9 is necessarily greater than 7 depends on how '9' is described [Fine,K]

15090

Quine's attack on the analyticsynthetic distinction undermined necessary truths [Shoemaker]

10924

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

10927

Necessity only applies to objects if they are distinctively specified

4577

There is no necessity higher than natural necessity, and that is just regularity

8206

Necessity could be just generalisation over classes, or (maybe) quantifying over possibilia

8483

Necessity is relative to context; it is what is assumed in an inquiry

10. Modality / B. Possibility / 1. Possibility
15782

Quine wants identity and individuationconditions for possibilia [Lycan]

10. Modality / B. Possibility / 8. Conditionals / b. Types of conditional
9014

Some conditionals can be explained just by negation and conjunction: not(p and notq)

10. Modality / B. Possibility / 8. Conditionals / c. Truthfunction conditionals
15725

Normal conditionals have a truthvalue gap when the antecedent is false.

10. Modality / B. Possibility / 8. Conditionals / e. Supposition conditionals
22432

Normally conditionals have no truth value; it is the consequent which has a conditional truth value

15722

Conditionals are pointless if the truth value of the antecedent is known

10. Modality / B. Possibility / 9. Counterfactuals
15720

What stays the same in assessing a counterfactual antecedent depends on context

15721

Counterfactuals are plausible when dispositions are involved, as they imply structures

15724

Counterfactuals have no place in a strict account of science

15719

We feign belief in counterfactual antecedents, and assess how convincing the consequent is

10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 3. A Posteriori Necessary
8856

Quine's indispensability argument said arguments for abstracta were a posteriori [Yablo]

2796

For Quine the only way to know a necessity is empirically [Dancy,J]

10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / e. Against possible worlds
13589

Possible worlds are a way to dramatise essentialism, and yet they presuppose essentialism

10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / a. Transworld identity
12443

Can an unactualized possible have selfidentity, and be distinct from other possibles?

9203

We can't quantify in modal contexts, because the modality depends on descriptions, not objects [Fine,K]

10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / b. Rigid designation
13588

A rigid designator (for all possible worlds) picks out an object by its essential traits

11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / a. Beliefs
13592

Beliefs can be ascribed to machines

11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / e. Belief holism
18969

How do you distinguish three beliefs from four beliefs or two beliefs?

11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 2. Phenomenalism
18209

We can never translate our whole language of objects into phenomenalism

12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 2. SelfEvidence
9379

A sentence is obvious if it is true, and any speaker of the language will instantly agree to it

12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 7. A Priori from Convention
9005

Examination of convention in the a priori begins to blur the distinction with empirical knowledge

12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 8. A Priori as Analytic
9383

Metaphysical analyticity (and linguistic necessity) are hopeless, but epistemic analyticity is a priori [Boghossian]

12424

Quine challenges the claim that analytic truths are knowable a priori [Kitcher]

12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 11. Denying the A Priori
9337

Science is empirical, simple and conservative; any belief can hence be abandoned; so no a priori [Horwich]

9338

Quine's objections to a priori knowledge only work in the domain of science [Horwich]

9340

Logic, arithmetic and geometry are revisable and a posteriori; quantum logic could be right [Horwich]

12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 4. Sense Data / d. Sensedata problems
21686

Sensedata are dubious abstractions, with none of the plausibility of tables

12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 1. Empiricism
1620

Empiricism makes a basic distinction between truths based or not based on facts

1629

Our outer beliefs must match experience, and our inner ones must be simple

8450

Quine's empiricism is based on whole theoretical systems, not on single mental events [Orenstein]

19046

Empiricism improvements: words for ideas, then sentences, then systems, then no analytic, then naturalism

19049

In scientific theories sentences are too brief to be independent vehicles of empirical meaning

12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 4. ProEmpiricism
21685

Empiricism says evidence rests on the senses, but that insight is derived from science

12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 5. Empiricism Critique
19488

The second dogma is linking every statement to some determinate observations [Yablo]

13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 9. Naturalised Epistemology
7627

You can't reduce epistemology to psychology, because that presupposes epistemology [Maund]

8871

We should abandon a search for justification or foundations, and focus on how knowledge is acquired [Davidson]

8826

If we abandon justification and normativity in epistemology, we must also abandon knowledge [Kim]

8827

Without normativity, naturalized epistemology isn't even about beliefs [Kim]

8899

Epistemology is a part of psychology, studying how our theories relate to our evidence

13. Knowledge Criteria / E. Relativism / 4. Cultural relativism
3868

To proclaim cultural relativism is to thereby rise above it [NewtonSmith]

13. Knowledge Criteria / E. Relativism / 5. Language Relativism
1634

Two things are relative  the background theory, and translating the object theory into the background theory

14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 3. Experiment
16944

Science is common sense, with a sophisticated method

14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 1. Scientific Theory
4630

Two theories can be internally consistent and match all the facts, yet be inconsistent with one another [Baggini /Fosl]

21687

It seems obvious to prefer the simpler of two theories, on grounds of beauty and convenience

21688

There are four suspicious reasons why we prefer simpler theories

14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 3. Instrumentalism
4713

For Quine, theories are instruments used to make predictions about observations [O'Grady]

14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 6. Theory Holism
1625

Statements about the external world face the tribunal of sense experience as a corporate body

14. Science / C. Induction / 1. Induction
16940

Induction is just more of the same: animal expectations

16941

Induction relies on similar effects following from each cause

14. Science / C. Induction / 2. Aims of Induction
21748

More careful inductions gradually lead to the hypotheticodeductive method

14. Science / C. Induction / 5. Paradoxes of Induction / a. Grue problem
16933

Grue is a puzzle because the notions of similarity and kind are dubious in science

15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 7. Seeing Resemblance
16934

General terms depend on similarities among things

16938

To learn yellow by observation, must we be told to look at the colour?

8486

Standards of similarity are innate, and the spacing of qualities such as colours can be mapped

16947

Similarity is just interchangeability in the cosmic machine

17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 3. Eliminativism
3131

Quine expresses the instrumental version of eliminativism [Rey]

17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 6. Conceptual Dualism
8462

A hallucination can, like an ague, be identified with its host; the ontology is physical, the idiom mental

18. Thought / D. Concepts / 5. Concepts and Language / b. Concepts are linguistic
11104

Concepts are language

18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 1. Abstract Thought
11102

Apply 'ness' or 'class of' to abstract general terms, to get secondlevel abstract singular terms

19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 1. Meaning
1626

It is troublesome nonsense to split statements into a linguistic and a factual component

8898

Inculcations of meanings of words rests ultimately on sensory evidence

19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 4. Meaning as TruthConditions
22430

If we understand a statement, we know the circumstances of its truth

19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 7. Meaning Holism / a. Sentence meaning
21700

Taking sentences as the unit of meaning makes useful paraphrasing possible

21701

Knowing a word is knowing the meanings of sentences which contain it

19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 7. Meaning Holism / b. Language holism
1619

There is an attempt to give a verificationist account of meaning, without the error of reducing everything to sensations [Dennett]

19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 8. Synonymy
7317

'Renate' and 'cordate' have identical extensions, but are not synonymous [Miller,A]

9009

Single words are strongly synonymous if their interchange preserves truth

19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 10. Denial of Meanings
1617

The word 'meaning' is only useful when talking about significance or about synonymy

1609

I do not believe there is some abstract entity called a 'meaning' which we can 'have'

1621

Once meaning and reference are separated, meaning ceases to seem important

9471

Intensions are creatures of darkness which should be exorcised

8202

Meaning is essence divorced from things and wedded to words

19. Language / B. Reference / 1. Reference theories
4712

Quine says there is no matter of fact about reference  it is 'inscrutable' [O'Grady]

8470

Reference is inscrutable, because we cannot choose between theories of numbers [Orenstein]

19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 2. Semantics
15788

Syntax and semantics are indeterminate, and modern 'semantics' is a bogus subject [Lycan]

19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 3. Predicates
19159

Quine relates predicates to their objects, by being 'true of' them [Davidson]

16932

Projectible predicates can be universalised about the kind to which they refer

19. Language / D. Propositions / 2. Abstract Propositions / a. Propositions as sense
18967

A 'proposition' is said to be the timeless cognitive part of the meaning of a sentence

19. Language / D. Propositions / 6. Propositions Critique
18968

The problem with propositions is their individuation. When do two sentences express one proposition?

9007

It makes no sense to say that two sentences express the same proposition

9008

There is no rule for separating the information from other features of sentences

9010

We can abandon propositions, and just talk of sentences and equivalence

19. Language / E. Analyticity / 1. Analytic Propositions
9371

Analytic statements are either logical truths (all reinterpretations) or they depend on synonymy

19. Language / E. Analyticity / 3. Analytic and Synthetic
19487

Without the analytic/synthetic distinction, Carnap's ontology/empirical distinction collapses

19. Language / E. Analyticity / 4. Analytic/Synthetic Critique
1622

Did someone ever actually define 'bachelor' as 'unmarried man'?

9366

Quine's attack on analyticity undermined linguistic views of necessity, and analytic views of the a priori [Boghossian]

14473

Quine attacks the Fregean idea that we can define analyticity through synonyous substitution [Thomasson]

7321

The last two parts of 'Two Dogmas' are much the best [Miller,A]

8803

Erasing the analytic/synthetic distinction got rid of meanings, and saved philosophy of language [Davidson]

17737

The analytic needs excessively small units of meaning and empirical confirmation [Jenkins]

1624

If we try to define analyticity by synonymy, that leads back to analyticity

21338

I will even consider changing a meaning to save a law; I question the meaningfact cleavage

8900

In observation sentences, we could substitute community acceptance for analyticity

8201

The distinction between meaning and further information is as vague as the essence/accident distinction

19050

Holism in language blurs empirical synthetic and empty analytic sentences

19. Language / F. Communication / 5. Pragmatics / a. Contextual meaning
9021

A good way of explaining an expression is saying what conditions make its contexts true

19. Language / F. Communication / 6. Interpreting Language / a. Translation
19045

Translation is too flimsy a notion to support theories of cultural incommensurability

19. Language / F. Communication / 6. Interpreting Language / b. Indeterminate translation
3988

Indeterminacy of translation also implies indeterminacy in interpreting people's mental states [Dennett]

6311

The firmer the links between sentences and stimuli, the less translations can diverge

6312

We can never precisely pin down how to translate the native word 'Gavagai'

6313

Stimulus synonymy of 'Gavagai' and 'Rabbit' does not even guarantee they are coextensive

6317

Dispositions to speech behaviour, and actual speech, are never enough to fix any one translation

1631

You could know the complete behavioural conditions for a foreign language, and still not know their beliefs

1632

Translation of our remote past or language could be as problematic as alien languages

18963

Indeterminacy translating 'rabbit' depends on translating individuation terms

19. Language / F. Communication / 6. Interpreting Language / c. Principle of charity
6314

Weird translations are always possible, but they improve if we impose our own logic on them

6315

We should be suspicious of a translation which implies that a people have very strange beliefs

7330

The principle of charity only applies to the logical constants [Miller,A]

22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / a. Nature of value
21749

Altruistic values concern other persons, and ceremonial values concern practices

22. Metaethics / A. Value / 2. Values / e. Love
21751

Love seems to diminish with distance to oneself

26. Natural Theory / B. Natural Kinds / 1. Natural Kinds
7375

Quine probably regrets natural kinds now being treated as essences [Dennett]

16935

If similarity has no degrees, kinds cannot be contained within one another

16936

Comparative similarity allows the kind 'colored' to contain the kind 'red'

26. Natural Theory / B. Natural Kinds / 3. Knowing Kinds
16937

You can't base kinds just on resemblance, because chains of resemblance are a muddle

26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / b. Causal relata
10370

Causal relata are individuated by coarse spacetime regions [Schaffer,J]

26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / a. Constant conjunction
16946

Causation is just invariance, as long as it is described in general terms

26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / a. Regularity theory
16942

It is hard to see how regularities could be explained

26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / e. Anti scientific essentialism
10931

We can't say 'necessarily if x is in water then x dissolves' if we can't quantify modally

17862

Essence gives an illusion of understanding [Almog]

27. Natural Reality / C. SpaceTime / 1. Space / c. Points in space
18970

The concept of a 'point' makes no sense without the idea of absolute position

27. Natural Reality / C. SpaceTime / 2. Time / c. Tenseless (B) time
13713

Quine holds time to be 'spacelike': past objects are as real as spatially remote ones [Sider]
