Who is Willard Van Orman Quine?

  • (noun): United States philosopher and logician who championed an empirical view of knowledge that depended on language (1908-2001).
    Synonyms: Quine, W. V. Quine

Willard Van Orman Quine

Willard Van Orman Quine (June 25, 1908 – December 25, 2000) (known to intimates as "Van") was an American philosopher and logician in the analytic tradition. From 1930 until his death 70 years later, Quine was continually affiliated with Harvard University in one way or another, first as a student, then as a professor of philosophy and a teacher of logic and set theory, and finally as a professor emeritus who published or revised several books in retirement. He filled the Edgar Pierce Chair of Philosophy at Harvard from 1956 to 1978. A recent poll conducted among analytic philosophers named Quine as the fifth most important philosopher of the past two centuries. He won the first Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy in 1993, for "his systematical and penetrating discussions of how learning of language and communication are based on socially available evidence and of the consequences of this for theories on knowledge and linguistic meaning."

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Some articles on Willard Van Orman Quine:

De Dicto And de Re - Representing de Dicto and de Re in Modal Logic - Willard Van Orman Quine
... Willard Van Orman Quine refers to D ... Kaplan, who in turn credits Montgomery Furth for the term vivid designator in his paper Reference Modality ...
Duhem–Quine Thesis - Willard Van Orman Quine
... Quine, on the other hand, in "Two Dogmas of Empiricism", presents a much stronger version of underdetermination in science ... Hence all our knowledge, for Quine, would be epistemologically no different from ancient Greek gods, which were posited in order to account for experience ... Quine even believed that logic and mathematics can also be revised in light of experience, and presented quantum logic as evidence for this ...

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    The three main medieval points of view regarding universals are designated by historians as realism, conceptualism, and nominalism. Essentially these same three doctrines reappear in twentieth-century surveys of the philosophy of mathematics under the new names logicism, intuitionism, and formalism.
    —Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908)

    We do not learn first what to talk about and then what to say about it.
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908)

    The familiar material objects may not be all that is real, but they are admirable examples.
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908)

    Our acceptance of an ontology is, I think, similar in principle to our acceptance of a scientific theory, say a system of physics; we adopt, at least insofar as we are reasonable, the simplest conceptual scheme into which the disordered fragments of raw experience can be fitted and arranged.
    —Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908)

    The three main medieval points of view regarding universals are designated by historians as realism, conceptualism, and nominalism. Essentially these same three doctrines reappear in twentieth-century surveys of the philosophy of mathematics under the new names logicism, intuitionism, and formalism.
    —Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908)

    Theory may be deliberate, as in a chapter on chemistry, or it may be second nature, as in the immemorial doctrine of ordinary enduring middle-sized physical objects.
    —Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908)

    And such the trust that still were mine,
    Though stormy winds swept o’er the brine,
    Or though the tempest’s fiery breath
    Roused me from sleep to wreck and death.
    In ocean cave, still safe with Thee
    The germ of immortality!
    And calm and peaceful shall I sleep,
    Rocked in the cradle of the deep.
    —Emma Hart Willard (1787–1870)

    [W]ith them we’ll beat little Van, Van, Van is a used up man.
    State of Indiana, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)