Quine's Naturalism

Quine's Naturalism : Language, Theory and the Knowing Subject

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W. V. Quine was the most important naturalistic philosopher of the twentieth century and a major impetus for the recent resurgence of the view that empirical science is our best avenue to knowledge. His views, however, have not been well understood. Critics charge that Quine's naturalized epistemology is circular and that it cannot be normative. Yet, such criticisms stem from a cluster of fundamental traditional assumptions regarding language, theory, and the knowing subject GCo the very presuppositions that Quine is at pains to reject. Through investigation of Quine's views regarding language, knowledge, and reality, the author offers a new interpretation of Quine's naturalism. The naturalism/anti-naturalism debate can be advanced only by acknowledging and critiquing the substantial theoretical commitments implicit in the traditional view. Gregory argues that the responses to the circularity and non-normativity objections do just that. His analysis further reveals that Quine's departure from the tradition penetrates the conception of the knowing subject, and he thus offers a new and engaging defence of Quine's naturalism.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 156 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 8.38mm | 226.8g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1441105115
  • 9781441105110
  • 3,210,042

Table of contents

1. Introduction; 2. "Epistemology Naturalized" and Naturalized Epistemology; 3. Language, Theory, and Beginning In Mediis Rebus; 4. Circularity and Beginning In Mediis Rebus; 5. Normativity and Objectivity; Changing the Subject; Bibliography.
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Review quote

'An important contribution to the ongoing debate over philosophical naturalism. Gregory carefully articulates and answers the main objections that have been raised against Quine ... The book brings out very clearly the power of Quine's attack on traditional epistemology, and also the connections between Quine's epistemological tradition and of the classical analytic philosophers in the background of Quine's work. This dearly and engagingly written work casts important new light on Quine's contributions to the theory of knowledge, and to the development of contemporary naturalism.' Matthew Moore, CUIVY Blurb from reviewer Paul Gregory has written a wonderfully clear and useful book on Quine's naturalistic epistemology. Gregory does a fine job of explaining central Quinean doctrines and their interrelationship, as well as providing an illuminating defense of these views against various objections.' Professor Hilary Komblith, University. of Massachusetts Amherst, USA Mention -Chronicle of Higher Education, February 27, 2009 "the historical figure as he or she really was. In this I believe Gregory, with his firm command of a wide range of Quinean texts, and his close attention to implicit connections, has succeeded remarkably well." - Notre Dame Philosophical Review John P. Burgess Noire Dame Philosophical Reviews 'A useful book... illuminating.' - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science
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About Paul A. Gregory

Paul A. Gregory is an Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Washington and Lee University, Virginia, USA.
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