Fifty Years of Quine’s Two Dogmas

Amsterdam: Rodopi (2003)
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W. V. Quine’s “Two Dogmas of Empiricism”, first published in 1951, is one of the most influential articles in the history of analytic philosophy. It does not just question central semantic and epistemological views of logical positivism and early analytic philosophy, it also marks a momentous challenge to the ideas that conceptual analysis is a main task of philosophy and that philosophy is an a priori discipline which differs in principle from the empirical sciences. These ideas dominated early analytic philosophy, but similar views are to be found in the Kantian tradition, in phenomenology and in philosophical hermeneutics. In questioning this consensus from the perspective of a radical empiricism, Quine’s article has had a sustained and lasting impact across all these philosophical divisions. Quine himself moved from the abandonment of the analytic/synthetic distinction to a thoroughgoing naturalism, and many analytic philosophers have followed his lead. The current collection differs from other anthologies devoted to Quine in two respects. On the one hand, it focuses on his attack on analyticity, apriority and necessity; on the other, it considers implications of that attack that far transcend the limits of Quine scholarship, and lie at the heart of the current self-understanding of philosophy. The contributors include both opponents and proponents of the dichotomies attacked by Quine. Furthermore, they include both eminent figures such as Boghossian, Burge, and Davidson, and up and coming younger philosophers.
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