The de Lagunas’ Dogmatism and Evolution, overcoming modern philosophy and making post-Quinean analytic philosophy

In Eric Schliesser (ed.), Ten Neglected Classics of Philosophy, Volume 2. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 192-214 (2022)
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Willard V. Quine’s 1951 article, “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” (Two Dogmas) was taken to be revolutionary because it rejects the analytic-synthetic distinction and the thesis that empirical statements are confirmed individually rather than holistically. The present chapter, however, argues that the overcoming of modern philosophy already included the overcoming of these theses by Hegelians, pragmatists and two critics of Hegelianism and pragmatism, Grace and Theodore de Laguna. From this perspective, Two Dogmas offers a Hegelian epistemology that was already superseded in 1910. The perspective is largely based on the de Lagunas’ 1910 book Dogmatism and Evolution: Studies in Modern Philosophy. The de Lagunas’ book also helps to make clear that the real revolution Two Dogmas participated in was the marginalisation of their work and that of other speculative philosophers. Grace de Laguna surely recognised much of this when she stood opposite Quine as he first presented Two Dogmas.

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Joel Katzav
University of Queensland


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