‘‘Quine’s Evolution from ‘Carnap’s Disciple’ to the Author of “Two Dogmas

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Abstract
Recent scholarship indicates that Quine’s “Truth by Convention” does not present the radical critiques of analytic truth found fifteen years later in “Two Dogmas of Empiricism.” This prompts a historical question: what caused Quine’s radicalization? I argue that two crucial components of Quine’s development can be traced to the academic year 1940–1941, when he, Russell, Carnap, Tarski, Hempel, and Goodman were all at Harvard together. First, during those meetings, Quine recognizes that Carnap has abandoned the extensional, syntactic approach to philosophical analysis, an approach espoused in Carnap’s 1934 Logical Syntax of Language, and which Quine endorsed his entire career. Second, Tarski presents Quine with a philosophically well-motivated reason to think that an apparently analytic discipline, arithmetic, could be synthetic; this reflects one of the central assertions found in “Two Dogmas” but not in “Truth by Convention.” I use this account of Quine’s development to resolve a dispute between Creath and Mancosu concerning the timeline for Quine’s evolving critiques of analyticity.
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Archival date: 2016-02-13
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Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Quine, Willard V. O.
Steps Toward a Constructive Nominalism.Goodman, Nelson & Quine, W. V.
Quine.Sober, Elliott & Hylton, Peter

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2014-01-26

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