Facets of Naturalism

Gary Kemp

in Quine versus Davidson

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199695621
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738524 | DOI:
Facets of Naturalism

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Quine’s naturalism is not well appreciated for either its force or its detail. It is a scientific view of what science, knowledge and objectivity amount to that takes seriously the fact that such a view is benignly circular: there is no point of view commanding knowledge or science that transcends science. After explaining how Quine himself accepted the view after his famous responses to Carnap, the chapter discusses naturalized epistemology and its implications for the study of language, the specter of indeterminacy, the fundamental importance for naturalism of the inscrutability of reference, and the place within naturalism of ontology. The chapter concludes with the implications for compositionality, truth, semantical holism, instrumentalism, realism, objectivity, the status of psychological characterization and the propositional attitudes.

Keywords: Quine; science; naturalized epistemology; language; inscrutability of reference; ontology; compositionality; truth; holism; realism

Chapter.  21708 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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