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Willard Van Orman Quine


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Willard Van Orman Quine (June 25, 1908 – December 25, 2000) (known to intimates as "Van") was an American philosopher and logician in the analytic tradition. From 1930 until his death 70 years later, Quine was continually affiliated with Harvard University in one way or another, first as a student, then as a professor of philosophy and a teacher of logic and set theory, and finally as a professor ... more »

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  • The lore of our fathers is a fabric of sentences. In our hands it develops and changes, through more or less arbitrary and deliberate revisions and additions of our own, more or less directly occasion...
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908), U.S. philosopher, logician. Also appears in somewhat different form as "Logical Truth" in American Philosophers at ...
  • ''One man's observation is another man's closed book or flight of fancy.''
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908), U.S. philosopher, logician. "Epistemology Naturalized," Ontological Relativity and Other Essays, Columbia Universit...
  • Our acceptance of an ontology is, I think, similar in principle to our acceptance of a scientific theory, say a system of physics; we adopt, at least insofar as we are reasonable, the simplest concept...
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908), U.S. philosopher. From a Logical Point of View, p. 16, Harvard University Press second, revised edition (1961).
  • ''A curious thing about the ontological problem is its simplicity. It can be put in three Anglo-Saxon monosyllables: 'What is there?' It can be answered, moveover, in a word—'Everything.'''
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908), U.S. philosopher. From a Logical Point of View, p. 1, Harvard University Press, second revised edition (1961).
  • Furthermore it becomes folly to seek a boundary between synthetic statements, which hold contingently on experience, and analytic statements, which hold come what may. Any statement can be held true c...
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908), U.S. philosopher. From a Logical Point of View, p 43, Harvard University Press second, revised edition (1961).
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