Ideas from 'Two Dogmas of Empiricism' by Willard Quine [1953], by Theme Structure

[found in 'From a Logical Point of View' by Quine,Willard [Harper and Row 1963,0-06-130566-9]].

green numbers give full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas

1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 3. Metaphysical Systems
Any statement can be held true if we make enough adjustment to the rest of the system
2. Reason / D. Definition / 1. Definitions
Definition rests on synonymy, rather than explaining it
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / f. Names eliminated
Quine's arguments fail because he naively conflates names with descriptions [Fine,K]
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 4. Mathematical Empiricism / a. Mathematical empiricism
Quine blurs the difference between knowledge of arithmetic and of physics [Jenkins]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / e. Ontological commitment problems
Quine is hopeless circular, deriving ontology from what is literal, and 'literal' from good ontology [Yablo]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 1. Physical Objects
If physical objects are a myth, they are useful for making sense of experience
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 15. Against Essentialism
Aristotelian essence of the object has become the modern essence of meaning
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 6. Logical Necessity
Contrary to some claims, Quine does not deny logical necessity [McFetridge]
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 11. Denial of Necessity
Quine's attack on the analytic-synthetic distinction undermined necessary truths [Shoemaker]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 8. A Priori as Analytic
Metaphysical analyticity (and linguistic necessity) are hopeless, but epistemic analyticity is a priori [Boghossian]
Quine challenges the claim that analytic truths are knowable a priori [Kitcher]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 11. Denying the A Priori
Quine's objections to a priori knowledge only work in the domain of science [Horwich]
Science is empirical, simple and conservative; any belief can hence be abandoned; so no a priori [Horwich]
Logic, arithmetic and geometry are revisable and a posteriori; quantum logic could be right [Horwich]
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 1. Empiricism
Empiricism makes a basic distinction between truths based or not based on facts
Our outer beliefs must match experience, and our inner ones must be simple
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 5. Empiricism Critique
The second dogma is linking every statement to some determinate observations [Yablo]
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 6. Theory Holism
Statements about the external world face the tribunal of sense experience as a corporate body
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 1. Meaning
It is troublesome nonsense to split statements into a linguistic and a factual component
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 8. Synonymy
'Renate' and 'cordate' have identical extensions, but are not synonymous [Miller,A]
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 10. Denial of Meanings
Once meaning and reference are separated, meaning ceases to seem important
19. Language / E. Analyticity / 1. Analytic Propositions
Analytic statements are either logical truths (all reinterpretations) or they depend on synonymy
19. Language / E. Analyticity / 4. Analytic/Synthetic Critique
Did someone ever actually define 'bachelor' as 'unmarried man'?
Quine's attack on analyticity undermined linguistic views of necessity, and analytic views of the a priori [Boghossian]
Quine attacks the Fregean idea that we can define analyticity through synonyous substitution [Thomasson]
The last two parts of 'Two Dogmas' are much the best [Miller,A]
Erasing the analytic/synthetic distinction got rid of meanings, and saved philosophy of language [Davidson]
The analytic needs excessively small units of meaning and empirical confirmation [Jenkins]
If we try to define analyticity by synonymy, that leads back to analyticity