Learning to understand Quine
Having a quick glance at the historiography of analytic philosophy as it was pursued in the last two or three decades, the dominance of a few major figures from the early phases of the story is easily recognizable. Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Rudolf Carnap are the names that overwhelmingly dominated grand historical narratives; if they got lucky, selective and determinate elements of their views—with the prefix “neo”—became tools in contemporary discussions, thus overcoming the categories of “founding father” and “historical curiosity.” Philosophers who set the scene for the second half of the twentieth century were barely present within historical frameworks. If they got lucky, their ideas became bare-boned arguments in so-called rational reconstructions, like in the stories of Scott Soames.
Things are changing and due to the latest harvest of freshly defended doctoral dissertations, many works discussing such scholars whose contemporaries are still with...
My research is supported by the MTA BTK Lendület Morals and Science Research Group and by the MTA Premium Postdoctoral Scholarship.