Heikki J. Koskinen's



"The philosopher and the scientist are in the same boat."

The purpose of this website is to introduce the naturalistic philosophy of Willard Van Orman Quine (1908-2000) and some relevant material.

You are visitor no. since 31.12. 2002.

[Site last modified 19.2. 2006]

Quinologiaa suomeksi (Quinology in Finnish)


    1.  About This Site and Myself
    2.  Who is W.V. Quine?
    3.  The Naturalistic Conception of Philosophy
    4.  The Constitutive Logical Framework
    5.  The Ontology of Physical Objects and Classes
    6.  The Epistemology of Holistic Empiricism
    7.  Bibliographical Orientation
    8.  Quinology Network
    9.  News
    10.  Links


About This Site

As stated above, the purpose of this website is to introduce the naturalistic philosophy of Willard Van Orman Quine, some relevant texts and other stuff. For anyone interested in Quine's thought, the problem is not a shortage of material, but quite the opposite: Quine's own writings are numerous and the secondary literature keeps mushrooming at a growing rate. There are also various websites that are quite useful. What the uninitiated Quinologist needs, however, is to get the big picture of Quine's position and the relevant literature.

In constructing this site, my intention has been - among other things - to provide some sort of accessible web-introduction to Quine's naturalism and its study. Acquiring the basics of one's web of belief (a central Quinean notion) concerning Quine via another web (the world wide one) seems like a nice idea to me anyway. I hope that this site can be profitably used by anyone trying to find out about Quine, whether they are just mildly curious, or seriously engaged in some academic literary pursuit like writing a paper or a dissertation.

To achieve the introductory aim, I have tried (in sections 4-6) to divide Quine's thought into more easily digestable chunks corresponding to traditional fields of theoretical philosophy (logic, ontology, and epistemology). However, before going any deeper into the philosophical details of the Quinean position, Section 2 Who is W.V. Quine? functions as an introduction, providing a brief general overview of Quine's life and work.

Section 3 The Naturalistic Conception of Philosophy characterizes Quine's metaphilosophical views on the nature and role of philosophy itself. Section 4 The Constitutive Logical Framework looks at Quine's views on logic and its use as an instrument of philosophical analysis. Section 5 The Ontology of Physical Objects and Classes maps the desert landscape of the Quinean universe and its fundamental categories of being. Section 6 The Epistemology of Holistic Empiricism looks at Quine's views on the theory of knowledge and the holistic nature of all meaning and evidence.

After the characterization of central systematic aspects of Quine's position in previous sections, Section 7 Bibliographical Orientation then offers some hints and reading suggestions for the beginning Quinology student who wants to proceed further. Section 8 Quinology Network consists of a listing of people who have an interest in Quine's work. The News section 9 reports recent and upcoming events, publications, and other projects that have come to my attention. Finally, the last section 10 contains Links to other websites related with Quine's life and work.

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About Myself

This site is maintained by me - Heikki J. Koskinen, Dr.Phil, Research Doctor at the Academy of Finland. In the picture below, I am defending my doctoral dissertation against Richard Creath from Arizona State University.

I have worked and published mainly on a metaphilosophical interpretation of Quine's thought that emphasizes the centrality of metaphysics in his work and the compatibility of ontological concerns with his philosophical naturalism. I have also written on Quine's important role as a rehabilitator of metaphysics in the latter part of the twentieth century analytic tradition. Connected with Quine's backround, I have co-edited with Ilkka Niiniluoto a Finnish volume on the Vienna Circle in 2002. The authors of this volume included G. H. von Wright and Jaakko Hintikka.

My doctoral dissertation From a Metaphilosophical Point of View: A Study of W.V. Quine's Naturalism was published in 2004 as Vol. 74 of the Acta Philosophica Fennica. My paper "On Some Metaphilosophical Implications of Quinean Naturalism" summarizing the main points of the dissertation earned me the status of an Invited Speaker at the 27th International Wittgenstein Symposium at Kirchberg am Wechsel, Austria, in 2004.

In addition to receiving several grants from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, I have worked within the project "The Limits of Naturalism" (University of Helsinki, funded by the Academy of Finland, led by Sami Pihlström, 2003-2006), and in close co-operation with the projects "The Nature of Philosophical Knowledge" (University of Tampere, funded by the Academy of Finland, led by Leila Haaparanta, 2000-2006) and "Rearticulations of Reason" (University of Tampere, funded by NOS-H, led by Leila Haaparanta, 2004-2006).

I am currently working as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Academy of Finland. Physically, I am situated at the Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki. My current research interests are related with metaphysics, and especially with the fundamental ontological distinction between universals and particulars. I am also involved in co-editing with Leila Haaparanta an international volume with the title Categories of Being: Essays on Metaphysics and Logic.

For comments, suggestions, and inquiries, you can contact me via e-mail at: heikki.j.koskinen@kolumbus.fi or by regular mail at: Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, P.O. Box 9, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki.

Please contact me to give feedback, to provide new information, and to suggest improvements!

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English Publications:

Koskinen, Heikki J., 2004, From a Metaphilosophical Point of View: A Study of W.V. Quine's Naturalism, Acta Philosophica Fennica 74, The Philosophical Society of Finland, Helsinki (ISBN 951-9264-51-5).

Koskinen, Heikki J., 2004, "On Some Metaphilosophical Implications of Quinean Naturalism", in Johann Christian Marek & Maria Elisabeth Reicher (eds.), Experience and Analysis: Papers of the 27th International Wittgenstein Symposium, Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, Kirchberg am Wechsel, pp. 178-180.

Koskinen, Heikki J., 2006, "Quinean Naturalism and the Metaphysical Turn", in Heikki J. Koskinen, Sami Pihlström & Risto Vilkko (eds.), Science - A Challenge to Philosophy?, Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main, pp. 199-207 (ISBN 3-631-54260-7).

Edited International Volumes:

Koskinen, Heikki J., Pihlström, Sami & Vilkko Risto (eds.), 2006, Science - A Challenge to Philosophy?, Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main (ISBN 3-631-54260-7).

Web Publications:

Pihlström, Sami & Koskinen, Heikki J., 2001, "Philosophical and Empirical Knowledge in the Program of Naturalism", in Kiikeri, Mika & Ylikoski, Petri (eds.), Explanatory Connections: Electronic Essays Dedicated to Matti Sintonen, www.valt.helsinki.fi/kfil/matti/koskinen.pdf


Finnish Publications:

Koskinen, Heikki J., 2000, "Filosofisen tiedon luonne ja W.V. Quinen holistinen empirismi", Ajatus 57, Suomen Filosofinen Yhdistys, s. 37-55 (ISBN 951-9264-40-X).

Koskinen, Heikki J., 2001, "Willard Van Orman Quine (1908-2000)", suomennos Dagfinn Føllesdalin muistosanoista, niin & näin 1/2001, Eurooppalaisen filosofian seura, s. 6-7 (ISSN 1237-1645).

Koskinen, Heikki J., 2002, "Quine, Wienin piirin perintö ja filosofian kohtalo", teoksessa Niiniluoto, Ilkka & Koskinen, Heikki J. (toim.), Wienin piiri, Gaudeamus, Helsinki, s. 230-249 (ISBN 951-662-866-4).

Koskinen, Heikki J., 2002, "Naturalismi ja teoreettisen filosofian käytännöt", teoksessa Pihlström, Sami & Rolin, Kristina & Ruokonen, Floora (toim.), Käytäntö, Yliopistopaino, Helsinki, s. 228-235 (ISBN 951-570-531-2).

Koskinen, Heikki J., 2003, "Quine, naturalismi ja filosofian puhtaus", teoksessa Räsänen, Petri & Tuohimaa, Marika (toim.), Filosofinen tieto ja filosofin taito, Acta Philosophica Tamperensia Vol. 2, Tampereen yliopistopaino, Tampere, s. 161-179 (ISBN 951-44-5311-5).

Koskinen, Heikki J., 2003, "Naturalismi ja filosofian metafyysinen käänne", Ajatus 60, Suomen Filosofinen Yhdistys, s. 287-303 (ISBN 951-9264-49-3).

Koskinen, Heikki J., 2004, "Kieltojen filosofiasta filosofian kieltoon?", teoksessa Gylling, Heta & Kivinen, S. Albert & Vilkko, Risto (toim.), Kielto, Yliopistopaino, Helsinki, s. 224-232 (ISBN 951-570-583-5).

Koskinen, Heikki J., 2004, "Eksistentiaalisesta naturalismista" ("On Existential Naturalism"), in Kaisa Luoma, Erna Oesch & Risto Vilkko (eds.), Filosofisia tutkielmia - Philosophical Studies in honorem Leila Haaparanta, Acta Philosophica Tamperensia, Vol. 4, Tampere University Press, Tampere, pp. 80-87 (ISBN 951-44-6101-1).

Koskinen, Heikki J., 2005, "Quine, looginen analyysi ja ontologia" ("Quine, Logical Analysis and Ontology"), Ajatus 62, The Philosophical Society of Finland, pp. 89-110.

Edited Finnish Volumes:

Airola, Anu & Koskinen, Heikki J. & Mustonen, Veera (toim.), 2000, Merkillinen merkitys, Gaudeamus, Helsinki (ISBN 951-662-785-4).

Niiniluoto, Ilkka & Koskinen, Heikki J. (toim.), 1996, Kognitiivisesta naturalismista naturalistiseen kognitioon, Helsingin yliopiston filosofian laitoksen julkaisuja No 1/1996 (ISBN 951-45-7622-5).

Niiniluoto, Ilkka & Koskinen, Heikki J. (toim.), 2002, Wienin piiri, Gaudeamus, Helsinki (ISBN 951-662-866-4).

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Who is W.V. Quine?

The name itself might seem quite a mouthful, so let us make a semantic ascent and take a look at it first. The complete form of the name consists of the following three parts:

    1.  The first name 'Willard' (Quine was named after his mother's brother who taught mathematics.)
    2.  The middle name 'Van Orman' (This comes from Quine's mother's family name.)
    3.  The last name 'Quine' (The family name was brought by Quine's paternal grandfather from the Isle of Man to the United States.)

To his friends and intimates, Quine was known simply as "Van". This usage seems to have originated within a high school comic club in the early 1920s.

(The Philosophical Lexicon edited by Daniel C. Dennett also contains an entry on 'quine' J )

Willard Van Orman Quine ( 25 June 1908 - 25 December 2000 ) is an American philosopher and logician who worked within the analytic tradition of empiricism and also reacted against some of its fundamental assumptions. Among other things, he presented a novel naturalistic conception of philosophy and formulated an extremely sophisticated systematic position in the grand style of classical philosophy.

Quine is one of the most important and influential philosophers of the twentieth century, and he has been ranked among the likes of Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), and Rudolf Carnap (1891-1970). Despite his recognized greatness, Quine's work is little known outside relatively narrow circles of academic philosophy. In his paper "How I Came to Know Quine: A Reminiscence", Roger F. Gibson suggests two reasons for Quine's lack of popular fame. First of all, the man in the street rarely reads analytic philosophy, and so Quine's brand of philosophy is not for everyone. Most of his writings are also aimed at an audience of professional philosophers and logicians, making Quine truly "a philosopher's philosopher". The second reason suggested by Gibson is that personality wise, Quine lacked "the flamboyance of a Russell and the mysticism of a Wittgenstein", which blocked two major avenues into the popular mind for him.

Quine was born in Akron Ohio, where he also went to school. He spent his student days in Oberlin College, majoring in mathematics and graduating with honours reading in mathematical philosophy (logic). Changing to philosophy, Quine transfered to Harvard for graduate studies and received a two-year Ph.D. while still 23 years old. His supervisor was A.N. Whitehead (1861-1947), the co-author of Principia Mathematica. With a traveling fellowship, he then embarked on a European pilgrimage to Vienna, Prague, and Warsaw, where he came into personal contact e.g. with the Vienna Circle, Rudolf Carnap, and Alfred Tarski (1902-1983). Harvard became Quine's professional home base for decades, and he died at 92 in Boston Massachusetts, after having transformed the philosophical scene through his teaching and writing.

During his exceptionally long career, the emphasis in Quine's work gradually shifted from logic to more general philosophy. However, his early work in logic was already philosophically motivated, and his later thinking in turn was very much conducted "from a logical point of view". Characterizations of central aspects of Quine's philosophical position can be found in sections 3-6 on metaphilosophy, logic, ontology, and epistemology.

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The three main sources for an account of Quine's life are:

    1. Quine, W.V., 1998, "Autobiography of W.V. Quine", in Hahn, Lewis Edwin & Schilpp, Paul Arthur (eds.), The Philosophy of W.V. Quine, Expanded Edition, Open Court, La Salle, pp. 1-46 & 729-741. (Paperback ISBN 0-8126-9371-X)
    2. Quine, W.V., 1985, The Time of My Life: An Autobiography, MIT Press, Cambridge MA. (Paperback ISBN 0-262-17003-5)
    3. Creath, Richard (ed.), 1990, Dear Carnap, Dear Van: The Quine-Carnap Correspondence and Related Work, University of California Press, Berkeley. (Hardcover ISBN 0-520-06847-5)

The first one is a shorter version of an autobiography written for the Hahn & Schilpp volume, and the second one is its expanded version into a 499-page book that includes pictures. The third one contains correspondence between Carnap and Quine during the years 1932-1970 and it is relevant for both intellectual and personal history. Creath has also written a very good introduction to the book.

Of course, many books (e.g. Orenstein's Chapter 1) and articles also contain brief encapsulations of the main points of Quine's life. The first volume of the Quine Video Series includes an interview of Quine by Rudolf Fara, and it goes through the main points of Quine's life as well.

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A Time-Line of Events

This time-line traces some main points of Quine's philosophical and academic life. It claims to be neither complete nor impartial, but it should help one to gain some sort of overview of Quine's intellectual background and career.






Willard Van Orman Quine was born 25 June in a modest frame house on Nash Street in the industrial city of Akron, Ohio, USA. His only sibling Robert Cloyd Quine had been born seventeen months earlier.



Quine entered kindergarten in one of the city schools, Portage Path. On first grade (in 1915) he was allowed to skip the second half, which caused all the subsequent grades to begin for him in January.



In January, Quine graduated from Portage Path and entered West High School where he chose the Scientific Course. (The other options being the Classical, Technical, and Commercial ones.)



Quine finished high school in January. Having read e.g. Max Otto's Things and Ideals, William James's Pragmatism, and Swami Vivekananda's Raja Yoga, his interest in philosophy was partly spurious and partly real. Quine also acquired a new interest in word origins.



In September, Quine entered Oberlin College, where he majored in mathematics. Torn between mathematics, philosophy, and philology (or linguistics), Quine heard about Russell's "mathematical philosophy", and started to read his books.



During his junior year, Quine took a course in psychology, where the professor assigned J.B. Watson's Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist for reading. Quine's exposure to behaviorism left lasting marks, and it also slightly antedated B.F. Skinner's.



At the end of Quine's junior year, his mother bought him the three volumes of Russell & Whitehead's Principia Mathematica.



Quine submitted his honors thesis in January and graduated summa cum laude in the spring. Working with the thesis that proved a certain general law within the system of Principia helped Quine to gain a functionally structured understanding of that work.



Since Whitehead was in philosophy at Harvard, Quine decided to change departments and applied for a scholarship there. He got the scholarship and transfered to Harvard for his graduate studies.



In October, Quine experienced his biggest intellectual thrill to date when Russell came to Harvard to give a lecture. Russell was introduced by Whitehead, and the two authors of Principia were thus situated on the same podium at the same time. Afterward, Whitehead introduced Quine to Russell.



Quine took his dissertation The Logic of Sequences: A Generalization of Principia Mathematica to Whitehead and received his Ph.D. in the spring.



Quine got Harvard's Sheldon Traveling Fellowship, and visited Vienna, Prague, and Warsaw. In Vienna he was invited by Schlick to participate in the Vienna Circle's meetings. In Prague Quine attended Carnap's lectures and discussed with him privately. In Warsaw Quine met Tarski together with other Polish logicians.



Quine was elected to Harvard's newly founded Society of Fellows as a Junior Fellow for three years. One of the other Junior Fellows of the first year was the psychologist B.F. Skinner, with whom Quine became friends.



Quine's visible enthusiasm about Carnap resulted in him being asked to give a series of three lectures on Carnap's philosophy. These were delivered at Harvard in November 8-22, and later (1990) published in a volume edited by Richard Creath.



In the fall and winter, Quine continued his exposition of Carnap by holding in his study an informal seminar mainly on Logische Syntax. The high point was when Carnap himself arrived from Prague. Carnap, Quine, Nelson Goodman, and two others then drove to Baltimore, where Carnap was to address the annual philosophy convention.



After the three years at the Society of Fellows, Quine got into a Harvard faculty Instructorship in philosophy. 



In the fall, Quine's courses included one on logical positivism, and it was primarily on Carnap.



In September, Harvard was the scene of the fifth International Congress for the Unity of Science, at which Quine finally met Otto Neurath who had been in Moscow at the time Quine was in Vienna. Quine was among those who pressed Tarski to accept the conference invitation that saved his life.



During the fall term, Russell, Carnap, Tarski, and Quine were all at Harvard.



On September 18, Quine was into the Navy as a lieutenant, and on October 7, he reported in his uniform in Washington for duty. He worked at radio intelligence in the Atlantic anti-submarine campain.



Quine ended his naval duty in November as lieutenant commander.



Quine resumed his Harvard duties in February.



In May, Quine was promoted to full professorship at Harvard.



Quine was made a Senior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard.



In December, Quine presented the "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" paper at the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association held in Toronto (December 27-29, 1950). Quine's paper was the second in the opening session - a plenary session with the title "Recent Trends in Philosophy". This session was chaired by Arthur E. Murphy, and it also included papers by Grace A. deLaguna and William Frankena. The article that became one of the most influential contributions of twentieth century philosophy was originally published in Philosophical Review LX (January, 1951) and then reprinted in FLPV.



In July, Quine was appointed Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy at Harvard.



After nine years of work on his philosophical magnum opus, Quine published Word and Object.



Harvard used to have a policy of mandatory retirement at the age of 70. Upon reaching this signpost, Quine retired and became Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus. However, in practice the retirement only meant giving up teaching duties, for Quine still wrote and lectured for twenty more years. During the official retirement years, he published five books and more than eighty articles.



Quine made his last public appearance at the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy in Boston, Massachusetts, 10-15 August.



On Christmas Day 25 December Quine died after a brief illness in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

 [Photographs of Quine through the ten decades of his life can be viewed at Douglas Boynton Quine's site.]

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The Naturalistic Conception of Philosophy [SECTION INCOMPLETE]

Naturalism [WORD ORIGIN: translating French naturalisme.]

Against the background of earlier Kantian and logical empiricist philosophy, Quine's naturalism constitutes a radical metaphilosophical revolution.

In his own blending of rationalistic and empiricistic elements, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) relied on the notion of synthetic a priori to provide room for philosophical knowledge. The logical empiricists of the Vienna Circle (in the 1920s and 30s), on the other hand, completely rejected the synthetic a priori and insisted that all meaningful discourse is strictly limited within the spheres of synthetic a posteriori and analytic a priori. The former contained all the meaningful sentences having any real content, and the latter included logic, mathematics, and philosophy. Especially Rudolf Carnap (1891-1970) - the leading thinker of the Vienna Circle - defended a conception of pure analytic philosophy, whose task was to study constitution systems, syntactic formulations of theories, or linguistic frameworks. This conception took philosophy to be an a priori discipline, and the possibility of such pure knowledge was based on analyticity. The factual component of analytic truths was taken to be null, and they were thus supposed to be grounded in meanings independently of matters of fact.

Quine's philosophy in turn rejects meanings, analyticity, and a priori knowledge. The result is a completely different metaphilosophical picture that is based on a holistic form of empiricism. The empirical drive for evidence and the logical drive for system are still there, but the web of belief constitutes a complex whole that cannot be divided across the board into analytic and synthetic, or factual and conventional components. The two cardinal tenets of empiricism that remain unassailable are: (1) whatever evidence there is for science is sensory evidence, and (2) all inculcation of meanings of words must rest ultimately on sensory evidence.

A central aspect of Quinean naturalism is the rejection of first philosophy. Another one is the acceptance of scientific method as the last arbiter of truth on questions about what there is (ontology) and how we know what there is (epistemology). Quine holds that knowledge, mind, and meaning are part of the same world that they have to do with, and that they are to be studied in the same empirical spirit that animates natural science. There is no place for a prior philosophy. He also says that in its abandonment of the goal of a first philosophy, naturalism sees natural science as an inquiry into reality, fallible and corrigible but not answerable to any supra-scientific tribunal, and not in need of any justification beyond observation and the hypothetico-deductive method.

To gain a proper understanding of Quine's naturalistic conception of philosophy, it is important to realize that although he rejects the traditional kind of first philosophy and also points towards science in the solving of problems, he does not thereby destroy philosophy or make it an obsolete discipline. As Quine's own work shows, there remains plenty of room e.g. for systematizing a general logical framework, discussing abstract metaphysical issues, and pursuing epistemological inquiry even after taking the naturalistic turn. When rejecting first philosophy, Quine does not reject philosophy as such, but merely offers a novel interpretation of its nature and role on a metalevel. One should also bear in mind that for Quine (unlike for the logical empiricists), science and philosophy are not mutually exclusive fields. Even if philosophy is abstract through being very general, it still belongs on the same continuum with (the rest of) science.


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The Constitutive Logical Framework [SECTION INCOMPLETE]

Logic [WORD ORIGIN: late Middle English: via Old French logique and Late Latin logica from Greek logike (tekhne) '(art) of reason', from logos 'word, reason'.]

Logic could be briefly described as the science of valid reasoning (or nowadays also: the syntax and semantics of formal languages).

For Quine's thought, logic is constitutive. It provides a general conceptual framework (or simply a language) for philosophical inquiry and analysis. There are many different systems of logic, but in Quine's case the term is restricted to mean just first-order predicate calculus with identity. This austere extensional apparatus includes only predication, truth-function theory, quantification theory, and identity theory. The epsilon predicate of class membership is excluded, as well as higher-order quantifiers and quantification into modal, or other intensional contexts.

Thus, the building blocks of Quine's canonical notation in its primitive form include just the following elements:


x, y, z, …

Schematic predicate letters

F, G, …

Logical constants

Ø , Ù , Ú , ® , « (the truth functional connectives reducible to one)

" , $ (the quantifiers reducible to one)

= (the identity predicate)


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For aspiring Quinologists, the officially recommended logic text would naturally have to be Quine's own Methods of Logic, but a very useful hint for those who feel that they need to learn elementary logic to get more out of reading Quine himself is:

Barwise, Jon & Etchemendy, John, 2000, Language, Proof, and Logic, Seven Bridges Press, New York / CSLI Publications, Stanford CA (Paperback ISBN 1-889119-08-3). [Includes a textbook, a software CD-ROM, and a user's manual.]

This package contains not only a very good, clear, and comprehensive introductory logic textbook, but also three wonderful computer programs (Tarski's World, Fitch, and Boole) that make the syntax and semantics of basic logic alive in a way that no mere printed text can achieve. A fourth program (Submit) lets you send exercise files to the Grade Grinder for evaluation via e-mail.

· Read more about the LPL from here.

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The Ontology of Physical Objects and Classes [SECTION INCOMPLETE]

Ontology [WORD ORIGIN: early 18th cent.: from modern Latin ontologia, from Greek on, ont- 'being' + -LOGY] The branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature and categories of being.

Metaphysics [WORD ORIGIN: mid 16th cent.: representing medieval Latin metaphysica (neuter plural), based on Greek ta meta ta phusika 'the things after the Physics', referring to the sequence of Aristotle's works: the title came to denote the branch of study treated in the books, later interpreted as meaning 'the science of things transcending what is physical or natural'.]

Aristotle (384-322 BC)

There are many ways of defining the sphere of metaphysics, but according to an old tradition traceable back to Aristotle (and here, following Michael J. Loux), metaphysics is the most general of all the disciplines. It attempts to provide an account of being qua being by identifying the most general kinds or categories under which things fall, and by delineating the relations that hold among these categories. This science of the most general categories of being has been called metaphysica generalis to distinguish it from metaphysica specialis dealing with issues in theology, cosmology, and psychology. (Ontology is just another name for general metaphysics thus conceived.)

One way of dividing the field of metaphysics is the following:


1. General metaphysics (metaphysica generalis) i.e. ontology

  • The Nature and Categories of Being

2. Special metaphysics (metaphysica specialis)

  • (Rational) Psychology
  • (Natural) Theology
  • (Philosophical) Cosmology


Although Quine says that he is no champion of traditional metaphysics and rejects "Aristotelian essentialism" as well as "first philosophy", metaphysics nevertheless constitutes a central aspect of his philosophy. This is especially true in connection with the field of general metaphysics or ontology. Cosmology is something that Quine would probably be quite happy to hand over to the relevant special scientists. On theology Quine has little to say, except that he is an atheist. On psychology - or philosophy of mind - Quine has said more, writing about physicalism, propositional attitudes de dicto and de re, and sensations or subjective experiences. His final position on the mind is to accept anomalous monism or token physicalism: "there is no mental substance, but there are irreducibly mental ways of grouping physical states and events."


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The Epistemology of Holistic Empiricism [SECTION INCOMPLETE]

Epistemology (WORD ORIGIN: mid 19th cent.: from Greek episteme 'knowledge', from epistasthai 'know, know how to do') The theory of knowledge.

Epistemology is a central field of philosophy that has traditionally been interested in defining the concept of knowledge, and in evaluating different kinds of claims to knowledge and their justification. It is often conceived to be purely conceptual and normative in nature. Quine rejects the classical definition of knowledge ("there is no place in the theory of knowledge for knowledge"), naturalizes epistemology, and eradicates the a priori. The result seems to be a thoroughly transformed conception of the traditional field of epistemology, but Quine does not admit to changing the subject.




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Bibliographical Orientation

Anyone wanting to find out more about Quine and his philosophy will have to get their hands on some textual resources. Since the primary and (ever increasing) secondary literature is so vast, however, this can be an intimidating task if one has no idea where to begin. Also, if one e.g. does not have any backround in elementary logic, then picking up the wrong book by Quine can be a serious turn-off. In this section I will try to provide some bibliographical orientation and useful hints for the beginning Quinologist. I shall also offer a suggestion of an introductory reading package consisting of just two volumes and two articles from a third.

A full bibliography of the publications of Quine up to 1998 - compiled by Quine himself - can be found in Hahn, Lewis Edwin & Schilpp, Paul Arthur (eds.), 1998, The Philosophy of W.V. Quine, Expanded Edition, Open Court, La Salle, pp.743-764 (Paperback ISBN 0-8126-9371-X).

In what follows, I shall mostly ignore various individual articles and book chapters by Quine and others - some of which are of course very good and useful - and focus on books and whole volumes instead. The subsection titled Miscellanea contains smaller items. The bibliographical material presented in this section will be divided into the following nine categories:



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(A) Quine's own books


Quine has published the following nineteen books in English:


    1. A System of Logistic, 1934, Harvard, Cambridge MA.
    2. Mathematical Logic, 1940, Revised Edition 1951, with Added Preface 1981, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA (Paperback ISBN 0-674-55451-5).
    3. Elementary Logic, 1941, Revised Edition 1966, Paperback 1980, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA.
    4. Methods of Logic, 1950, Fourth Edition 1982, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA (Paperback ISBN 0-674-57176-2).
    5. From a Logical Point of View, 1953, Second Edition, Revised 1980, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA (Paperback ISBN 0-674-32351-3).
    6. Word and Object, 1960, MIT Press, Cambridge MA (Paperback ISBN 0-262-67001-1).
    7. Set Theory and Its Logic, 1963, Revised Edition 1969, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA (Paperback ISBN 0-674-80207-1).
    8. The Ways of Paradox and Other Essays, 1966, Revised and Enlarged Edition 1976, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA (Paperback ISBN 0-674-94837-8).
    9. Selected Logic Papers, 1966, Enlarged Edition 1995, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA (Paperback ISBN 0-674-79837-6).
    10. Ontological Relativity and Other Essays, 1969, Columbia University Press, New York (Paperback ISBN 0-231-08357-2).
    11. The Web of Belief (with J.S. Ullian), 1970, Second Edition 1978, McGraw-Hill, New York (Paperback ISBN 0-07-553609-9).
    12. Philosophy of Logic, 1970, Revised Edition 1986, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA (Paperback ISBN 0-674-66563-5).
    13. The Roots of Reference, 1974, Open Court, La Salle (Paperback ISBN 0-8126-9101-6).
    14. Theories and Things, 1981, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA (Paperback ISBN 0-674-87926-0).
    15. The Time of My Life: An Autobiography, 1985, MIT Press, Cambridge MA (Paperback ISBN 0-262-17003-5).
    16. Quiddities: An Intermittently Philosophical Dictionary, 1987, harvard University Press, Cambridge MA (Paperback ISBN 0-674-74352-0).
    17. Pursuit of Truth, 1990, Revised Edition 1992, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA (Paperback ISBN 0-674-73951-5).
    18. The Logic of Sequences, 1990, Garland, New York.
    19. From Stimulus to Science, 1995, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA (Paperback ISBN 0-674-32636-9).


Of these, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, and 18 deal with logic in a technical manner, while the rest of the books may be considered more broadly philosophical in nature. However, even when Quine is engaging in "discursive philosophy", the title of volume 5 above - From a Logical Point of View - seems to characterize his approach rather well. On the other hand, Quine's work in logic is always philosophically motivated.


In addition to the nineteen books in English above, Quine has published the following four in other languages:


    1. O Sentido da Nova Lógica, 1944, Reprinted by Universidade do Paraná 1996.
    2. Saggi Filosofici 1970-1981, 1982, M. Leonelli (ed.), Armando, Rome.
    3. Granice Wiedzy i Inne Eseje Filozoficzne, 1987, B. Stanosz (ed.), Warsaw.
    4. La Scienza e i dati di senso, 1987, M. Leonelli (ed.), Armando, Rome.


His original books and articles have also been translated into various languages, see bibliography for further details up to 1998.

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(B) Discussion Volumes


There are many fine books that include other authors' articles on various aspects of Quine's philosophy together with Quine's responses to them. These bouts of discourse often help to make some obscurities clearer and straighten some misunderstandings. In many cases, Quine's responses prove to be illuminative even without reading the original critical or expository essays that triggered them. Here are the six discussion volumes (and one similar journal issue) that I am aware of:


    1. Davidson, Donald & Hintikka, Jaakko (eds.), 1969, Words and Objections: Essays on the Work of W.V. Quine, Reidel, Dordrecht.
    2. Shahan, Robert W. & Swoyer, Chris (eds.), 1979, Essays on the Philosophy of W.V. Quine, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. (Replies by Quine in Philosophical Topics 12, 1982, pp. 227-243).
    3. Hahn, Lewis E. & Schilpp, Paul Arthur (eds.), 1986, The Philosophy of W.V. Quine, Open Court, la Salle (Expanded Edition 1998).
    4. Barrett, Robert B. & Gibson, Roger F. (eds.), 1990, Perspectives on Quine, Blackwell, Oxford.
    5. Leonardi, Paolo & Santambrogio, Marco (eds.), 1995, On Quine: New Essays, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
    6. Orenstein, Alex & Kotatko, Petr (eds.), 1999, Knowledge, language, and Logic: Questions for Quine, Kluwer, Dordrecht.
    7. [Føllesdal, Dagfinn & Hannay, Alastair (eds.), 1994, Inquiry Vol. 37, No. 4, Symposium on Quine's Philosophy.]

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(C) The Føllesdal Corpus


Quine's graduate student Dagfinn Føllesdal has performed a feat of major significance by collecting an assortment of important essays on Quine into five thematically organized volumes. Articles to be found in the six discussion volumes listed in category (B) above are not included because they are easily attainable in these publications. The editing work by Føllesdal is very valuable for the future of Quine studies, because these volumes gather scattered material into a unified corpus, and make the texts much more easily available for students and researchers. They also help to trace the influence of Quine's often controversial views on the larger philosophical scene.

The whole series is appropriately titled Philosophy of Quine (5 volume set ISBN 0-8153-3737-X), and the individual volumes are:

    1. General, Reviews, and Analytic/Synthetic (ISBN 0-8153-3738-8)
    2. Naturalism and Ethics (ISBN 0-8153-3739-6)
    3. Indeterminacy of Translation (ISBN 0-8153-3740-X)
    4. Ontology (ISBN 0-8153-3741-8)
    5. Logic, Modality, and Philosophy of Mathematics (ISBN 0-8153-3742-6)

The publisher is Garland, New York & London, and the series came out in 2001. The detailed contents of all the five individual volumes can be found here.

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(D) Introductory Books on Quine's Philosophy


By now, there are quite many books on Quine's philosophy that have been written on a relatively introductory level. Their growing number testifies to the continuing importance of Quine's thought. The distinction between introductory and other books on Quine is not always clear, and so, some of the books listed here could also be included in the next subsection Other Books on Quine.


    1. Gibson, Roger F., 1982, The Philosophy of W.V. Quine: An Expository Essay, University Presses of Florida, Tampa.
    2. Gibson, Roger F., 1988, Enlightened Empiricism: An Examination of W.V. Quine's Theory of Knowledge, University Presses of Florida, Tampa.
    3. Hookway, Christopher, 1988, Quine: Language, Experience and Reality, Polity Press, Cambridge.
    4. Keil, Geert, 2002, Quine zur Einführung, Junius, Hamburg. (Paperback ISBN 3-88506-358-1).
    5. Nelson, Lynn Hankinson & Nelson, Jack, 2000, On Quine, Wadsworth, Belmont CA. (Paperback ISBN 0-534-57622-2)
    6. Orenstein, Alex, 2002, W.V. Quine, (Philosophy Now Series), Acumen, Bucks. (Paperback ISBN 1-902683-31-5)
    7. Romanos, George D., 1983, Quine and Analytic Philosophy, MIT Press, Cambridge MA.


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(E) Other Books on Quine


    1. Decock, Lieven, 2002, Trading Ontology for Ideology: The Interplay of Logic, Set Theory, and Semantics in Quine's Philosophy, (Synthese Library, 313), Kluwer. (Hardcover ISBN 1-4020-0865-1) [See here for more details.]
    2. Decock, Lieven & Horsten, Leon (eds.), 2000, Quine: Naturalized Epistemology, Perceptual Knowledge and Ontology, Rodopi, Amsterdam (Hardcover ISBN 90-420-1241-2).
    3. Dilman, Ilham, 1984, Quine on Ontology, Necessity, and Experience: A Philosophical Critique, State University of New York Press, Albany (Hardcover ISBN 0-87395-761-X). 
    4. Glock, Hans-Johann, 2003, Quine and Davidson on Language, Thought and Reality, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. (Hardcover ISBN 0521821800)
    5. Gosselin, Mia, 1990, Nominalism and Contemporary Nominalism: Ontological and Epistemological Implications of the Work of W.V.O. Quine and of N. Goodman, Kluwer, Dordrecht (Hardcover ISBN 0-7923-0904-9).
    6. Janvid, Mikael, 2001, Naturalism and the Status of Epistemology, Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University. (ISBN 91-7265-334-5)


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(F) The Quine Videos


In its Video Library of Philosophy, Philosophy International has published seven VHS tapes containing an interview with Quine by Rudolf Fara and six panel discussions with Ned Block, George Boolos, Martin Davies, Daniel C. Dennett, Burton Dreben, Rudolf Fara, Robert Fogelin, Warren Goldfarb, and Paul Horwich. You can read more about the Quine videos and the whole Video Library project from here.

These videos provide a nice way of acquainting oneself with the main aspects of Quine's philosophy. The naturally flowing discussion sets up a user-friendly interface with abstract thought, and the feeling of following the panel discussions is very different from that associated with reading tightly printed pages of closely argued material. The videos also give an opportunity to see Quine live (or almost, anyway). - Highly recommended!

NOTE: The videos also include Quine's authoritative directions on the proper pronunciation of 'gavagai' !!! J

Roger F. Gibson has reviewed the Quine Video Series in Mind 104 (1995), pp. 637-645.


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(G) An Introductory Reading Package - One Suggestion


Due to the amount of relevant textual material, I believe that it is very useful to offer some suggestions for where to begin one's study of Quine's philosophy. Of course, different angles and approaches to all kinds of subjects are possible, and so, no claims of historical or systematical priority are made here. This is merely meant to be a relatively small and accessible package of primary literature that should provide a nice entering wedge into Quine's thought. It could also be read in the following order:


1. Pursuit of Truth (1992), Revised Edition, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 114pp. (Paperback ISBN 0-674-73951-5)

2. "On What There Is" (1948) & "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" (1951) in From a Logical Point of View (1980), Second Edition, Revised, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, pp. 1-19 & 20-46. (Paperback volume ISBN 0-674-32351-3)

3. Word and Object (1960), MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 294pp. (Paperback ISBN 0-262-67001-1)


The first one - Pursuit of Truth - is a small book in which Quine updates and draws together the central aspects of his philosophical position. Because of its systematic expository character, small size, and Quine's relaxed way of writing, the book functions perfectly as an introduction to Quine's naturalism. Of course, a major bonus is that it is written by the master himself. The five chapters concentrate on the topics of evidence, reference, meaning, intension, and truth.

The second stage includes two of Quine's most important and influential philosophical articles. They can both be found in a collection of nine logico-philosophical essays, whose main themes are the notion of ontological commitment and the problem of meaning. "On What There Is" formulates Quine's famous criterion of ontological commitment: to be is to be the value of a variable, and "Two Dogmas" criticizes the analytic-synthetic distinction and reductionism, ending in a sketch of Quine's alternative of holistic empiricism. After the first little overview book, these two articles let one see how Quine actually does his philosophizing, and they also prepare the way for the next stage of reading Quine.

The third phase of the reading list consists of Quine's philosophical magnum opus. This is the single volume that is absolutely central to understanding Quine's thought and seeing how its various aspects hang together as a systematic whole. Word and Object is also one of the main classics of twentieth century philosophy, so it should be read by anyone trying to gain an understanding of the analytic tradition of the period. After acquiring a preliminary grasp of stages 1 and 2, this book should be read carefully to appreciate its numerous interlocking themes.

However, the variety of issues dealt with e.g. in Word and Object is so great that it might be helpful to have some sort of specific angle when one approaches Quine's writings. The purpose of such an angle is not to bend and distort Quine's views to fit one's own preconceptions, but to provide a preliminary cognitive framework into which one can then start to add the Quinean components acquired from reading the original works themselves.

If one wants to learn to read Quine as a metaphysician, then before proceeding to the original sources 1-3 given above, I would recommend starting with the following package:



The first one is a very good and clear introduction to the field of metaphysics. The second book is a fine introduction to Quine's thought nicely emphasizing the themes of ontology and metaphysics. Together they can provide an interpretative framework that helps to get more out of reading Quine.

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This subsection includes thematically organized textual sources that could be used by anyone wishing to find out about Quine's thought and its influence on specific philosophical topics. The kind of grouping here may be quite useful because it is not at all obvious where the relevant fragments of text are embedded if one wants e.g. to read about a particular theme, or to write a paper or an article on one. The references are listed in a temporal order, which does not necessarily represent their order of systematic importance or historical influence.

After the primary sources mentioned in each section, there are some references to the secondary literature. This secondary literature helps to chart the response that Quine's views have received in the larger philosophical community.


Criterion of ontological commitment

· "Designation and Existence", 1939, The Journal of Philosophy 36, pp. 701-709.

· "A Logistical Approach to the Ontological Problem", 1939, pp. 197-202 in WP.

· "On What There Is", 1948, pp. 1-19 in FLPV.

· "Ontology and Ideology", 1951, Philosophical Studies 2, pp. 11-15.

· "Existence and Quantification", 1968, pp. 91-113 in OR.

· "Ontology and Ideology Revisited", 1983, The Journal of Philosophy 80, pp. 499-502.


[Volume 4 (pp. 1-54) of the Føllesdal Corpus contains other authors' articles dealing with Quine's notion of ontological commitment.]



· "Promoting Extensionality", 1994, Synthese 98, pp. 143-151.

· "Confessions of a Confirmed Extensionalist", 2001, in Floyd, Juliet & Shieh, Sanford (eds.), Future Pasts: The Analytic Tradition in Twentieth-Century Philosophy, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 215-221. (Hardcover ISBN 0-19-513916-X)


Critique of the analytic-synthetic distinction

· "Truth by Convention", 1936, pp. 77-106 in WP.

· "Two Dogmas of Empiricism", 1951, pp. 20-46 in FLPV.

· "Carnap and Logical Truth", 1954, pp. 107-132 in WP.


[Volume 1 (pp. 217-440) of the Føllesdal Corpus contains other authors' articles on Quine's critique of the analytic-synthetic distinction and reductionism, or the two dogmas of empiricism.]


Critique of modality

· "Notes on Existence and Necessity", 1943, The Journal of Philosophy 40, pp. 113-127.

· "The Problem of Interpreting Modal Logic", 1947, The Journal of Symbolic Logic 12, pp. 43-48.

· "Reference and Modality", 1953, pp. 139-159 in FLPV.

· "Three Grades of Modal Involvement", 1953, pp. 158-176 in WP.

· "Reply to professor Marcus", 1962, pp. 177-184 in WP.

· "Necessary Truth", 1963, pp. 68-76 in WP.

· "Worlds Away", 1976, pp. 124-128 in TT.

· "Intensions Revisited", 1977, pp. 113-123 in TT.

· "Necessity", 1987, pp. 139-142 in Q.


[Volume 5 (pp. 227-271) of the Føllesdal Corpus contains other authors' articles on Quine's critique of modality.]


Indeterminacy of translation

· "Translation and Meaning", 1960, Chapter II in WO, pp. 26-79.

· "On the Reasons for Indeterminacy of Translation", 1970, The Journal of Philosophy 67, pp. 178-183.

· "Indeterminacy of Translation Again", 1987, The Journal of Philosophy 84, pp. 5-10.


[The whole Volume 3 of the Føllesdal Corpus is dedicated to other authors' articles dealing with Quine's thesis of indeterminacy of translation.]


Inscrutability of reference and ontological relativity

· "Ontological Reduction and the World of Numbers", 1964, pp. 212-220 in WP.

· "Ontological Relativity", 1969, pp. 26-68 in OR.

· "Structure and Nature", 1992, The Journal of Philosophy 89, pp. 6-9.


[Volume 4 (pp. 55-176) of the Føllesdal Corpus contains other authors' articles on Quine's thesis of indeterminacy of reference and ontological relativity.]


Naturalized epistemology

· "Epistemology Naturalized", 1969, pp. 69-90 in OR

· The Roots of Reference, 1974, (see RR).

· "The Nature of Natural Knowledge", 1975, in Guttenplan, Samuel (ed.), Mind and Language, Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 67-81. (Hardcover ISBN 0-19-824521-1)


[Volume 2 (pp. 1-349) of the Føllesdal Corpus contains other authors' articles on Quine's naturalism and naturalized epistemology.]


Quine's views on ethics

· "On the Nature of Moral Values", 1978, pp. 55-66 in TT.

· "Reply to Morton White", 1986, pp. 663-665 in Hahn & Schilpp.


[Volume 2 (pp. 350-397) of the Føllesdal Corpus contains other authors' articles on Quinean ethics.]


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(I) Miscellanea


This subsection contains smaller items like book chapters, individual articles, and encyclopedia entries on Quine's philosophy and closely related issues, not found in the volumes mentioned in subsections (A) - (D) above.


    1. Ayer, A.J., 1982, "W.V. Quine", a section of Chapter IX: Later Developments in Philosophy in the Twentieth Century, Vintage Books, New York, pp. 242-252 (Paperback ISBN 0-394-71655-8).
    2. Creath, Richard, 1991, "Every Dogma Has Its Day", Erkenntnis 35, pp. 347-389.
    3. George, Alexander, 2000, "On Washing the Fur Without Wetting It: Quine, Carnap and Analyticity", Mind 109, pp. 1-24.
    4. Gibson, Roger F., 1995, "Quine, Willard Van Orman", an entry in Kim, Jaegwon & Sosa, Ernest (eds.), A Companion to Metaphysics, Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 426-428 (Paperback ISBN 0-631-19999-3).
    5. Gibson, Roger F., 1996, "Quine's Behaviorism", in O'Donohue, William & Kitchener, Richard F. (eds.), The Philosophy of Psychology, Sage, London, pp. 96-107 (Paperback ISBN 0-7619-5305-1).
    6. Haack, Susan, 1993, "Naturalism Disambiguated", Chapter 6 in Evidence and Inquiry: Towards Reconstruction in Epistemology, Blackwell, Oxford, pp.118-138 (Paperback ISBN 0-631-19679-X).
    7. Hacker, P.M.S., 1996, "Post-positivism in the United States and Quine's Apostasy", Chapter 7 in Wittgenstein's Place in Twentieth-century Analytic Philosophy, Blackwell, Oxford, pp.183-227 (Paperback ISBN 0-631-20099-1).
    8. Hatcher, William, 1982, "The Foundational Systems of W.V. Quine", Chapter 7 in The Logical Foundations of Mathematics, Pergamon Press, Oxford, pp.213-236 (Hardcover ISBN 0-08-025800-X).
    9. Hookway, Christopher, 1993, "Quine, Willard Van Orman", an entry in Dancy, Jonathan & Sosa, Ernest (eds.), A Companion to Epistemology, Blackwell, Oxford, pp.409-410 (Paperback ISBN 0-631-19258-1).
    10. Jones, W.T. & Fogelin, Robert J., 1997, "Quine", Chapter 13 in A History of Western Philosophy, Volume V: The Twentieth Century to Quine and Derrida, Third Edition, Harcourt Brace, Fort Worth, pp. 484-511 (Paperback ISBN 0-15-500379-8).
    11. Kaminsky, Jack, 1969, "Quine on Ontological Commitment", Chapter 4 in Language and Ontology, Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, pp. 47-64 (Hardcover ISBN 8093-2928-X).
    12. Küng, Guido, 1967, "W.V. Quine and N. Goodman", Chapter 9 in Ontology and the Logistic Analysis of Language: An Inquiry into the Contemporary Views on Universals, Revised Edition, Reidel, Dordrecht, pp.127-160 (Hardcover ISBN ???).
    13. Miller, Alexander, 1998, "Scepticism about sense (I): Quine on analyticity and translation", Chapter 4 in Philosophy of Language, UCL Press, London, pp.113-151 (Paperback ISBN 1-85728-470-4).
    14. O'Grady, Paul, 1999, "Carnap and Two Dogmas of Empiricism", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research LIX, pp. 1015-1027.
    15. Stroll, Avrum, 2000, "W.V.O. Quine", Chapter 7 in Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy, Columbia University Press, New York, pp. 181-210 (Hardcover ISBN 0-231-11220-3).
    16. Wang, Hao, 1986, "Quine's Logical Negativism", Chapter 4 in Beyond Analytic Philosophy: Doing Justice to What We Know, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, pp.153-190 (Hardcover ISBN 0-262-23124-7).
    17. Sinclair, Robert, 2002, "Stimulus Meaning Reconsidered", The Southern Journal of Philosophy 40, pp. 395-409.

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Quinology Network

This section is meant to consist of a listing of philosophers and students who have an interest in Quine's work. Its main purpose is to create some sense of community and interaction between such people. I am hoping to get hints about events, publications, etc. to be posted in the news section from persons willing to join in sharing and receiving information concerning Quine, his philosophy, and its interpretation. I am also open to all kinds of suggestions for further forms of possible interaction within this context, so if you have any ideas about developing the Quinology Network please contact me!

If you are or have been involved with Quine and his thought, join the network by informing me that you wish to join, and by sending me - heikki.j.koskinen@kolumbus.fi - the details of your name (and position), affiliation, e-mail address, www-address, and a description of your interests and approach in a few sentences in accordance with the example provided below in (1). I will then add your name and details to the list in the order of receiving them. None of these details will be distributed to any third parties by any other means than adding them to the list on the Quinology Network section at this site. Of course, you may feel free to contact me without ending up on the list.

Note also that interest in Quine's work is sufficient for inclusion in the list. No willingness to endorse my personal interpretation of Quine's philosophy is implied or required.


  1. Name: Heikki J. Koskinen, Dr.Phil., Researcher, Affiliation: Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki, Finland, e-mail: heikki.j.koskinen@kolumbus.fi www address: http://www.helsinki.fi/filosofia/filo/henk/koskinen.htm Interests: I have mainly been interested in the metaphilosophical implications of Quine's naturalism, the nature of philosophical knowledge in his thought, and the possibility of naturalized metaphysics. More recently, my interests have started shifting towards ontology per se. [added 1.8. 2002] 

  3. Name: Timo Vuorio, MA, Researcher, Affiliation: Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Philosophy, University of Tampere, Finland, e-mail: timo.vuorio@uta.fi Interests: "Rorty's Quine": the neo-pragmatistic implications of Quine's critique of foundationalistic philosophy. [added 6.8. 2002] 

  5. Name: Chen Bo, Ph.D., Professor, Affiliation: Department of Philosophy, Peking University, China, e-mail: chenbo@phil.pku.edu.cn www address: http://www.phil.pku.edu.cn/personal/chenbo Interests: (Ph.D. Thesis Title: Quine's Naturalized Epistemology - Exposition and Critique) The main fields I research are modern logic and analytic philosophy, especially philosophy of logic and the philosophy of W.V. Quine. [added 20.8. 2002] 

  7. Name: Markus Lammenranta, Ph.D., Docent in theoretical philosophy, Researcher, Affiliation: Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki, Finland, e-mail: markus.lammenranta@helsinki.fi www address: http://www.helsinki.fi/filosofia/filo/henk/lammenranta.htm Interests: Quine's epistemology. [added 20.8. 2002] 

  9. Name: Mikael Janvid, Ph.D., Affiliation: Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University, Sweden, (University Lecturer at Linköping University) e-mail: mikael.janvid@philosophy.su.se www address: http://www.philosophy.su.se/personal/janvid.htm Interests: (Ph.D. Thesis Title: Naturalism and the Status of Epistemology - see News Section) Epistemological naturalism [added 21.8. 2002] 

  11. Name: Panu Raatikainen, Ph.D., Docent in theoretical philosophy, Fellow of Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Affiliation: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland, e-mail: panu.raatikainen@helsinki.fi Interests: Quine's views on meaning and analyticity. [added 21.8. 2002]

  13. Name: Sami Pihlström, Ph.D., Docent and University Lecturer of Theoretical Philosophy, Affiliation: Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki, Finland, e-mail: sami.pihlstrom@helsinki.fi www address: http://www.helsinki.fi/filosofia/filo/henk/pihlstrom.htm Interests: Quine's naturalistic conception of philosophy and his connections with pragmatism. [added 23.10. 2002]

  15. Name: Juha Savolainen, e-mail: juha.savolainen@edu.hel.fi Interests: Varieties of naturalism [added 28.10. 2002]

  17. Name: Maria Lasonen-Aarnio, MA, Researcher, Affiliation: Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki, Finland, e-mail: maria.lasonen@helsinki.fi Interests: Quine in connection with 20th century philosophy, naturalism, and the problem of realism. [added 13.12. 2002]

  19. Name: Paul A. Gregory, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor, Affiliation: Washington & Lee University, Department of Philosophy, Lexington, VA, USA, e-mail: gregoryp@wlu.edu www address: http://philosophy.wlu.edu/gregoryp/ Interests: My Ph.D. thesis (1999, Language, Theory, and the Human Subject: Understanding Quine's Natural Epistemology) is an interpretation and defense of Quine's naturalized epistemology. My interests in Quine focus on his relation to Carnap - especially the rejection of analyticity, and what this means for philosophy in general; as well as the naturalistic conception of representation which underpins his epistemology and metaphysics. [added 23.4. 2003]

  21. Name: Lieven Decock, Ph.D., Lecturer, Affiliation: Faculty of Philosophy, Free University Amsterdam, The Netherlands, e-mail: L.B.Decock@ph.vu.nl Interests: Quine's ontological views. [added 24.4. 2003]

  23. Name: Antti Keskinen, MA, Researcher, Affiliation: Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Philosophy, University of Tampere, Finland, e-mail: antti.keskinen@uta.fi Interests: Quine's views on ontology, extensionalism and philosophy of logic. [added 16.5. 2003]

  25. Name: Robert Sinclair, Ph.D., Sessional Instructor, Affiliation: Department of Philosophy, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada, e-mail: rsinclaa@sfu.ca Interests: My Ph.D. dissertation (A Tale of Two Naturalists: Davidson and Quine on the Naturalization of Philosophy, 2001) is a comparative study of the naturalistic philosophies of Quine and Davidson. My interests in Quine focus primarily on his naturalized epistemology and the metaphilosophical status of his conception of naturalism. [added 3.7. 2003]

  27. Name: Aleksandra Derra, PhD, Researcher, Affiliation: Institute of Philosophy, University of Torun, Poland, e-mail: aldewicz@uni.torun.pl www address: http://www.filozofia.uni.torun.pl/derra.htm Interests: I have mainly been interested in the philosophy of language, Wittgenstein's late philosophy, metaphilosophical implications of contemporary analytic philosophy (its turn to naturalism and the influence of Quinean thought on contemporary philosophers). Additionally I am interested in contemporary feminist thought, both in Anglo-saxon and French area. [added 20.1. 2005]

  29. Name: Qaiser Shahzad, MA, Researcher, Affiliation: Faculty of Usuluddin (Islamic Theology), International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan, e-mail: qshahzad2001@yahoo.com, Interests: Interested in the religious and theological implications of Quine's naturalism and attack on analytic-synthetic distinction. [added 28.1. 2005]

  31. Name: Nathan Stemmer, 9 Diskin Street, Jerusalem, Israel, e-mail: nstemmer@netvision.net.il Interests: In my publications, I have made use of Quine's views on language acquisition, on induction, and on the mind-body problem. One of my latest publications is: "The Mind-Body Problem and Quine's Repudiation Theory". Behavior and Philosophy, 2001. [added 16.3.2005]


I got the ideas of setting up a Quinology Network and creating some kind of Quinology Site while participating in the Fourth European Congress for Analytic Philosophy (ECAP4) at Lund University, Sweden, 14-18 June 2002. At the congress, there were four speakers, whose titles explicitly mentioned Quine, and many more whose talks were more or less directly related with Quine's position, philosophical naturalism, and other Quinologically relevant themes. My own topic in the Epistemology and Philosophy of Science section was "Quine and the Nature of Philosophical Knowledge".

At ECAP4 in Lund, 2002

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Principia (an international journal of epistemology published by NEL and UFSC University Press) organized the Third Principia International Symposium, 8-11 September, 2003, in Florianopolis, Brazil. The main theme of the symposium was the works of Willard van Orman Quine. For more information, see http://www.cfh.ufsc.br/principia/ and http://www.univ-lyon3.fr/philo/appels3.htm [Thanks to Paul A. Gregory for the tip]

Science - A Challenge to Philosophy?, XV Internordic Philosophical Symposium, Helsinki, May 13-15, 2004, had naturalism as one of its central themes and also contained a section on Quine. The symposium was organized by the Nordic Institute of Philosophy (NIFF) together with the Philosophical Society of Finland. See the symposium website here.


Quine, W.V., 2003, 1946 Lectures on David Hume's Philosophy, (ed. by Buickerood, James G.), in the journal Eighteenth-Century Thought 1, pp. 171-254 [This is the full text of Quine's course lectures on Hume at Harvard in summer 1946 - source: DBQ's site].

Decock, Lieven, 2002, Trading Ontology for Ideology: The Interplay of Logic, Set Theory, and Semantics in Quine's Philosophy, (Synthese Library, 313), Kluwer. (Hardcover ISBN 1-4020-0865-1) [See here for more details.]

Decock, Lieven & Horsten, Leon (eds.), 2000, Quine: Naturalized Epistemology, Perceptual Knowledge and Ontology, Rodopi, Amsterdam (Hardcover ISBN 90-420-1241-2).

Føllesdal, Dagfinn, 2001, Philosophy of Quine, 5 Volume Series, Garland Publishing, New York & London. (5 volume set ISBN 0-8153-3737-X)

· Gibson, Roger F. (ed.), 2004, The Cambridge Companion to Quine, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. (Hardcover ISBN 0521630568, Paperback ISBN 0521639492)

· Gibson, Roger F. (ed.), 2004, Quintessence: Basic Readings from the Philosophy of W.V. Quine, Belknap Press, Cambridge MA. (Hardcover ISBN 0-674-01048-5)

Glock, Hans-Johann, 2003, Quine and Davidson on Language, Thought and Reality, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. (Hardcover ISBN 0521821800)

· Glock, Hans-Johann & Glüer, Kathrin & Keil, Geert (eds.), 2003, Fifty Years of Quine's "Two Dogmas", Rodopi, Amsterdam. (ISBN 90-420-0948-9)

Janvid, Mikael, 2001, Naturalism and the Status of Epistemology, Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University. (ISBN 91-7265-334-5)

Keil, Geert, 2002, Quine zur Einführung, Junius Verlag, Hamburg. (Paperback ISBN 3-88506-358-1)

· Koskinen, Heikki J., 2004, From a Metaphilosophical Point of View: A Study of W.V. Quine's Naturalism, Acta Philosophica Fennica 74, The Philosophical Society of Finland, Helsinki (ISBN 951-9264-51-5).

Nelson, Lynn Hankinson & Nelson, Jack, 2003, Feminist Interpretations of W.V. Quine, Pennsylvania State University Press. (Hardcover ISBN 0271022949, Paperback ISBN 0271022957)

Orenstein, Alex, 2002, W.V. Quine, (Philosophy Now Series), Acumen, Bucks. (Paperback ISBN 1-902683-31-5)



Gregory, Paul A., [forthcoming], "Two Dogmas - All Bark and No Bite? Carnap and Quine on Analyticity", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

Hylton, Peter, [forthcoming], Quine: The Arguments of the Philosophers, Routledge, London.

Raatikainen, Panu, [forthcoming], "Is Quine a Verificationist?", The Southern Journal of Philosophy.


Chen Bo has organized a group, whose task is to edit and translate six volumes of Quine's writings into Chinese. The translation should come out around 2005.


Gregory, Paul A., 1999, Language, Theory, and the Human Subject: Understanding Quine's Natural Epistemology, Ph.D. thesis in Philosophy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago.

Fraser, Bruce W., 2001, Syntax, Semantics, and the Justification of Linguistic Methodology: An Investigation Into the Source and Nature of the Disagreement Between Noam Chomsky and W.V.O. Quine, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Boston University. [A copy of this work can be accessed through Professor Gabriel Sandu at the Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki, Finland.]

Sinclair, Robert, 2001, A Tale of Two Naturalists: Davidson and Quine on the Naturalization of Philosophy, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby BC, Canada.


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Here are some links that are related in one way or another with Quine's life and work:




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Aristotle taking the pre-Quinean naturalistic stance against his teacher J



Quinologiaa suomeksi


Quinen omista kirjoituksista suomeksi on käännetty "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" (suom. Juha Savolainen) ja Word and Objectin toinen luku "Translation and Meaning" (suom. Tiina Seppälä), jotka molemmat ovat ilmestyneet Panu Raatikaisen toimittamassa teoksessa:

· "Empirismin kaksi dogmia", teoksessa Raatikainen, Panu (toim.), 1997, Ajattelu, kieli, merkitys: Analyyttisen filosofian avainkirjoituksia, Gaudeamus, Helsinki, s. 133-153 (ISBN 951-662-683-1).

· "Käännös ja merkitys", teoksessa Raatikainen, Panu (toim.), 1997, Ajattelu, kieli, merkitys: Analyyttisen filosofian avainkirjoituksia, Gaudeamus, Helsinki, s. 154-200 (ISBN 951-662-683-1).

Vieraillessaan Harvardissa vuonna 1995 Sami Pihlström tapasi Quinen kahdesti. Keskustelujen pohjalta julkaistu haastattelu ilmestyi niin & näin lehdessä:

· Pihlström, Sami, 1996, "Willard Van Orman Quine", niin & näin 1/96, s. 6-13 (ISSN 1237-1645). [Kiinnostavan haastattelun lopussa on myös luettelo, joka sisältää Quinen teoksia sekä muuta aihepiiriin liittyvää kirjallisuutta.]

Quinen filosofiasta on suomen kielellä kirjoitettu toistaiseksi melko vähän. Seuraavassa joitakin poimintoja viittauksista Quineen:

· Hallamaa, Jaana & Pihlström, Sami & Pulliainen, Ukri & Salmenkivi, Eero & Sihvola, Juha, 2002, Tiedon Odysseia, Edita, Helsinki (ISBN 951-37-3611-3). [Tämä lukion filosofian tieto-opin kurssin oppikirja suorittaa loistokkaan kulttuuriteon saattamalla Quinen filosofian lukiolaisten tietoisuuteen. Quinen nimi löytyy teoksen sanastosta (s. 171) ja hänen ajatuksiaan käsitellään kielen ontologisten sitoumusten (s. 64-65) sekä tieteenfilosofian tuoreiden suuntausten (s. 138-141) yhteydessä. Jälkimmäinen osio esittelee Quinen käsityksen tieteestä uskomusverkkona painottaen hänen naturalismiaan ja holismiaan.]

· Hintikka, Jaakko, 1982, "Quine ja kvanttorit", teoksessa Kieli ja mieli: Katsauksia kielifilosofiaan ja merkityksen teoriaan, Otava, Helsinki, s. 107-160 (ISBN 951-1-06757-5). [Hintikka tarkastelee dialogin muodossa Quinen ja hänen kriitikoidensa näkemyksiä kvantifioidun modaalilogiikan mahdollisuudesta.]

· Juti, Riku, 2001, Johdatus metafysiikkaan, Gaudeamus, Helsinki (ISBN 951-662-821-4). [Juti (s.6) mainitsee Quinen eräänä filosofeista, jotka vaikuttivat metafysiikan uuteen nousuun 1900-luvun viimeisinä vuosikymmeninä. Hän toteaa Quinen ajattelun olleen voimakkaiden metafyysisten olettamusten ehdollistamaa sekä katsoo metafysiikan sijaitsevan Quinen ajattelun ytimessä. Quinen näkemyksiä myös tarkastellaan useissa teoksen kohdissa (ks. kirjan henkilöhakemisto, s. 394).]

· Kivinen, S. (Albert), 1971, "Matematiikka ja Ontologia", teoksessa Logiikka ja matematiikka: Studia logica et mathematica, julk. Dilemma ry ja Limes ry, WSOY, Porvoo, s. 61-74. [Kivinen tarkastelee ontologista probleemaa (Mitä on olemassa?) ja ontologisten sitoumusten kriteeriä Quinen hengessä.]

· Kivinen, S. Albert, 1999, Metafyysisiä esseitä, Yliopistopaino, Helsinki (ISBN 951-570-454-5). [Esipuheessaan Kivinen (s.3) muistelee akateemikko Oiva Ketosen seminaarissa 1950-luvun lopulla luettuja Quinen kirjoituksia ontologiasta ja toteaa Quinen avanneen Carnapin keskitysleirin portit: ontologiasta saattoi jälleen keskustella.]

· Koskinen, Heikki J., 2000, "Filosofisen tiedon luonne ja W.V. Quinen holistinen empirismi", Ajatus 57, Suomen Filosofinen Yhdistys, s. 37-55 (ISBN 951-9264-40-X).

· Koskinen, Heikki J., 2001, "Willard Van Orman Quine (1908-2000)", suomennos Dagfinn Føllesdalin muistosanoista, niin & näin 1/2001, Eurooppalaisen filosofian seura, s. 6-7 (ISSN 1237-1645).

· Koskinen, Heikki J., 2002, "Quine, Wienin piirin perintö ja filosofian kohtalo", teoksessa Niiniluoto, Ilkka & Koskinen, Heikki J. (toim.), Wienin piiri, Gaudeamus, Helsinki, s. 230-249 (ISBN 951-662-866-4).

· Koskinen, Heikki J., 2002, "Naturalismi ja teoreettisen filosofian käytännöt", teoksessa Pihlström, Sami & Rolin, Kristina & Ruokonen, Floora (toim.), Käytäntö, Yliopistopaino, Helsinki, s. 228-235 (ISBN 951-570-531-2).

· Koskinen, Heikki J., 2003, "Quine, naturalismi ja filosofian puhtaus", teoksessa Räsänen, Petri & Tuohimaa, Marika (toim.), Filosofinen tieto ja filosofin taito, Acta Philosophica Tamperensia Vol. 2, Tampereen yliopistopaino, Tampere, s. 161-179 (ISBN 951-44-5311-5).

· Lammenranta, Markus, 1993, Tietoteoria, Gaudeamus, Helsinki (ISBN 951-662-572-X). [Lammenranta viittaa Quineen useaan otteeseen, tarkastelee Quinen naturalisoidun epistemologian ohjelmaa (luvussa 1.3.4., s. 36-41) sekä vertaa Quinea David Humeen.]

· Määttänen, Pentti, 1995, Filosofia: Johdatus peruskysymyksiin, Gaudeamus, Helsinki (ISBN 951-662-633-5). [Määttänen (s. 52) käsittelee lyhyesti Quinen kuuluisaa gavagai-esimerkkiä metafyysisen ja sisäisen realismin tarkastelun yhteydessä sekä viittaa (s. 183) Quinen analyyttinen/synteettinen -erottelun kritiikkiin.]

· Niiniluoto, Ilkka, 1980, Johdatus tieteenfilosofiaan: Käsitteen- ja teorianmuodostus (ISBN 951-1-05435-X); 1983, Tieteellinen päättely ja selittäminen (ISBN 951-1-07379-6), molemmat Otava, Helsinki. [Niiniluoto mainitsee Quinen useissa eri yhteyksissä, mutta ei varsinaisesti käsittele hänen näkemyksiään.]

· Niiniluoto, Ilkka & Saarinen, Esa (toim.), 1986, Vuosisatamme filosofia, WSOY, Porvoo (ISBN 951-0-12166-5).[Quine, "yksi analyyttisen filosofian moderneista voimahahmoista" (s. xvii) nostetaan A.J. Ayerin ja Rudolf Carnapin ohella esiin esimerkkinä filosofiasta, joka ajautuu yhä kauemmas kirjallisuudesta, runoudesta, taiteesta ja uskonnosta sekä lähestyy matematiikkaa ja eksakteja luonnontieteitä, jotka määrittelevät ideaalin. Tuloksena todetaan olevan "eräänlaista paikallisesti definiittiä filosofiaa - globaalisen, kokonaisvaltaisen näkemyksen vastakohtana" (s. xx).]

· Nordin, Svante, 1999, Filosofian historia: Länsimaisen järjen seikkailut Thaleesta postmodernismiin (suom. Jukka Heiskanen), Liitteenä Ilkka Niiniluodon katsaus filosofiaan Suomessa, Pohjoinen, Oulu (ISBN 951-749-292-8). [Nordin esittelee Quinea parin sivun (472-473) verran otsikolla "Quine ja analyyttinen filosofia USA:ssa" pohjautuen lähinnä "Two Dogmas" -artikkeliin. Niiniluodon liitteessä "Filosofia Suomessa" mainitaan Hintikan modaalilogiikkaan liittyvä kiista Quinen kanssa (s. 512), Quinen analyyttinen-synteettinen erottelun kritiikki ja Erik Steniuksen ko. erottelun puolustus (s. 514), sekä Hintikan ajatus, jonka mukaan Quine edustaa käsitystä kielestä universaalisena välineenä (s. 516).]

· Pihlström, Sami, 1997, Tutkiiko tiede todellisuutta?: Realismi ja pragmatismi nykyisessä tieteenfilosofiassa, Helsingin yliopiston filosofian laitoksen julkaisuja No 1 1997 (ISBN 951-45-7773-6). [Viimeisessä luvussa (s. 193-210) Pihlström tarkastelee Quinen näkemyksiä suhteessa teoksensa laajempaan tematiikkaan. Quinen naturalismia seuraten hän myös hylkää "ensimmäisen filosofian" hyväksymättä kuitenkaan Quinen "skientismiä".]

· Pihlström, Sami, 2001, "Halusi filosofiasta tieteen palvelijan", Helsingin Sanomat, ke 10.1. 2001. [Quinen muistosanat HS:n Kuolleet -osastossa]

· Raatikainen, Panu (toim.), 1997, Ajattelu, kieli, merkitys: Analyyttisen filosofian avainkirjoituksia, Gaudeamus, Helsinki (ISBN 951-662-683-1). Aiemmin mainittujen Quine-käännösten lisäksi Raatikaisen teos sisältää myös johdantoluvun, jonka jaksossa 4 ("Quinen holistinen filosofia", s. 23-26) Quinea tarkastellaan osana laajempaa 1900-luvun filosofista viitekehystä.]

· von Wright, G.H., 1982, "Filosofinen semantiikka", teoksessa Logiikka, filosofia ja kieli, Otava, Helsinki, s. 184-203 (ISBN 951-1-06669-2). [von Wright tarkastelee Quinen semantiikkaan liittyviä näkemyksiä Fregen, Carnapin ja Tarskin ohella sekä mainitsee mm. Quinen erottelun referenssin teorian ja merkityksen teorian välillä. Myös ontologian ja ideologian välinen erottelu sekä ontologisten sitoumusten kriteeri mainitaan von Wrightin kirjoituksessa.]

· von Wright, G.H., 1992, Minervan Pöllö: Esseitä vuosilta 1987-1991, Otava, Helsinki (ISBN 951-1-112470-6). [von Wright (s. 70) viittaa Quineen analyyttisen filosofian perinteeseen kohdistuvan historiallis-kriittisen tarkastelunsa yhteydessä ja toteaa: "Elävistä filosofeista hän on mielestäni suurin." Von Wright (s. 42) myös mainitsee Quinen amerikkalaisen pragmatismin perinteen kasvattina sekä puhuu Quinesta "modaalilogiikan ja intensionaalisen logiikan muiden muotojen terävänä ja järkkymättömänä arvostelijana" (s. 64).]

Selkeästi kriittisempää suhtautumista Quineen, tämän ajatteluun ja sen vaikutukseen edustavat mm:

· Alanen, Lilli, 1996, "Naturalistinen tietoteoria", teoksessa Kieseppä, I.A. & Pihlström, Sami & Raatikainen, Panu (toim.), Tieto, totuus ja todellisuus, Gaudeamus, Helsinki, s.134-143 (ISBN 951-662-664-5). [Alanen vastustaa jyrkästi "quinelaista fysikalismiin sidottua filosofista naturalismia" sekä tarkastelee quinelaisen naturalistisen tietoteorian ihanteeseen liittyviä ongelmia.]

· Hintikka, Jaakko, 2001, "Quinen empirismin kolme dogmia", teoksessa Filosofian köyhyys ja rikkaus: Nykyfilosofian kartoitusta (toim. Janne Hiipakka & Risto Vilkko), Art House, Helsinki, s. 53-84 (ISBN 951-884-302-3). [Filosofian köyhyyttä ja rikkautta tarkastelevan teoksen luvun "Köyhyyden oireita" ainoana edustajana esiintyy Quine…]

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