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Quotations From WILLARD VAN ORMAN QUINE

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  • 11.
    Irrefragability, thy name is mathematics.
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908), U.S. philosopher. The Ways of Paradox, p. 22, Harvard University Press, revised and enlarged edition (1976).
  • 12.
    Language is conceived in sin and science is its redemption.
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908), U.S. philosopher, logician. The Roots of Reference, p. 68, 1973. Summarizing the author's view that language arises out of confusing noises evoked by things with the things themselves, but that the rigor science demands later purifies it.
  • 13.
    One man's antinomy is another man's falsidical paradox, give or take a couple of thousand years.
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908), U.S. philosopher. The Ways of Paradox, p. 9, Harvard University Press, revised and enlarged edition (1976).
  • 14.
    Theory may be deliberate, as in a chapter on chemistry, or it may be second nature, as in the immemorial doctrine of ordinary enduring middle-sized physical objects.
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908), U.S. philosopher, logician. Word and Object, section 3, MIT Press (1960).

    Read more quotations about / on: nature
  • 15.
    Physics investigates the essential nature of the world, and biology describes a local bump. Psychology, human psychology, describes a bump on the bump.
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908), U.S. philosopher. Theories and Things, p. 93, Harvard University Press (1981).

    Read more quotations about / on: nature, world
  • 16.
    Meaning is what essence becomes when it is divorced from the object of reference and wedded to the word.
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908), U.S. philosopher, logician. "Two Dogmas of Empiricism," From a Logical Point of View.
  • 17.
    It is one of the consolations of philosophy that the benefit of showing how to dispense with a concept does not hinge on dispensing with it.
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908), U.S. philosopher, logician. Word and Object, p. 190 (1960). On the view that by reducing a concept to what is already clear, we license its use.
  • 18.
    Confusion of sign and object is original sin coeval with the word.
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908), U.S. philosopher, logician. "Speaking of Objects," Ontological Relativity and Other Essays, Columbia University Press (1969).
  • 19.
    Uncritical semantics is the myth of a museum in which the exhibits are meanings and the words are labels. To switch languages is to change the labels.
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908), U.S. philosopher, logician. "Ontological Relativity," Ontological Relativity and Other Essays, Columbia University Press (1969).

    Read more quotations about / on: change
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