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::: center home >> events >> lunchtime >> 2004-05 >> abstracts

Friday, 25 March 2005

Quine's Early Arguments Concerning Analyticity

Gary Hardcastle, Bloomsburg University, Philosophy

12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning


Abstract: In November of 1934, the 26-year-old W. v. O. Quine gave three “Lectures on Carnap” at Harvard University.  Ostensibly a presentation of Rudolf Carnap’s recently articulated logical syntax program, in these lectures Quine in fact pursues his own distinctive project.  My aim in the present talk is to explain Quine’s three lectures, with convention, choice, and the evasion of metaphysics at the center of my interpretation.  I’ll argue that such an understanding dissolves the tension detected by Hylton (2000) between Quine’s demand for an explanation of the a priori and the seemingly non-explanatory approach he in fact pursues, as well as the tension detected by Creath (1990) between Quine’s avowed aim of illuminating Carnapian doctrines and various distinctly ‘Quinean” commitments. On my interpretation, Quine’s 1934 lectures present an original, deep, and coherent perspective, distinct from both Carnap’s logical syntax program and the later viewpoint of Quine’s own “Truth by Convention.”

Revised 3/11/08 - Copyright 2006