Advertisement

Quine, Ontology, and Physicalism

  • Frederique Janssen-LauretEmail author
Chapter
Part of the History of Analytic Philosophy book series (History of Analytic Philosophy)

Abstract

Quine’s views on ontology and naturalism are well-known but rarely considered in tandem. According to my interpretation the connection between them is vital. I read Quine as a global epistemic structuralist. Quine thought we only ever know objects qua solutions to puzzles about significant intersections in observations. Objects are always accessed descriptively, via their roles in our best theory. Quine’s Kant lectures contain an early version of epistemic structuralism with uncharacteristic remarks about the mental. Here Quine embraces mitigated anomalous monism, allowing introspection and the availability in principle of full physical descriptions of perceptual events. Later versions abandon these ideas. My epistemic-structural interpretation explains why. I argue first-person introspective access to mental states is incompatible with global epistemic structuralism.

Keywords

Anomalous monism Epistemic structuralism Introspection Structure 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am very grateful to the editor of this volume, Robert Sinclair, and to the organizers of the Quine symposium at the 2018 APA-Central conference in Chicago where I presented a version of this paper, with special thanks to Sander Verhaegh and his head of department. I am also indebted to the audience at that symposium for their questions, especially to Peter Hylton, and to Fraser MacBride. This research was supported by the AHRC project grant ‘The Age of Metaphysical Revolution: David Lewis and His Place in the History of Analytic Philosophy’.

References

  1. Baumeister, Roy. 2010. The Self. In Advanced Social Psychology: The State of the Science, ed. Roy Baumeister and Eli Finkel. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Carnap, Rudolf. 1967 [1928]. The Logical Structure of the World. Trans. Rolf George. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  3. Davidson, Donald. 1970. Mental Events. In Experience and Theory, ed. L. Foster and J.W. Swanson, 79–101. Reprinted in Davidson 1980, 207–225.Google Scholar
  4. ———. 1974. Replies to David Lewis and W.V. Quine. Synthese 27: 345–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Goodman, Nelson, and W.V. Quine. 1947. Steps Toward a Constructive Nominalism. Journal of Symbolic Logic 12: 105–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Janssen-Lauret, Frederique. 2015. Meta-Ontology, Naturalism, and the Quine-Barcan Marcus Debate. In Quine and His Place in History, ed. Gary Kemp and Frederique Janssen-Lauret, 146–167. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  7. ———. 2016. Committing to an Individual: Ontological Commitment, Reference, and Epistemology. Synthese 193: 583–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. ———. 2017. The Quinean Roots of Lewis’s Humeanism. The Monist 100: 249–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. ———. 2018a. Willard Van Orman Quine’s Philosophical Development in the 1930s and 1940s. In The Significance of the New Logic. Edited and translated by W. Carnielli, F. Janssen-Lauret, and W. Pickering. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. ———. 2018b. Logical Form, the First Person, and Naturalism. In Scientific Imperialism: Exploring the Boundaries of Interdisciplinarity, ed. M. Fernández Pinto, U. Mäki, and A. Walsh, 237–253. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Janssen-Lauret, Frederique, and Fraser MacBride. Forthcoming. W.V. Quine and David Lewis: Structural (Epistemological) Humility. In Quine: Structure and Ontology, ed. Frederique Janssen-Lauret. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Lewis, David. 1974. Radical Interpretation. Synthese 27: 331–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. ———. 1994. Humean Supervenience Debugged. Mind 103: 473–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Maddy, Penelope. 1997. Naturalism in Mathematics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Quine, W.V. 1939. Designation and Existence. Journal of Philosophy 36: 701–709.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. ———. 1940. Mathematical Logic. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  17. ———. 1943. Notes on Existence and Necessity. Journal of Philosophy 40: 113–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. ———. 1944. O Sentido da Nova Lógica. São Paulo: Martins.Google Scholar
  19. ———. 1948. On What There Is. Review of Metaphysics 2: 21–38.Google Scholar
  20. ———. 1951. On Carnap’s Views on Ontology. Philosophical Studies 2: 65–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. ———. 1957. The Scope and Language of Science. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 8 (29): 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. ———. 1960. Word and Object. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  23. ———. 1968. Ontological Relativity. Journal of Philosophy 65: 185–212. Reprinted in Quine 1969b, 26–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. ———. 1969a. Epistemology Naturalized. In Quine 1969b, 69–90.Google Scholar
  25. ———. 1969b. Ontological Relativity & Other Essays. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  26. ———. 1976a [1963]. Necessary Truth. In The Ways of Paradox and Other Essays. Revised and enlarged ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  27. ———. 1976b [1972]. Vagaries of Definition. In The Ways of Paradox and Other Essays. Revised and enlarged ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  28. ———. 1976c. The Ways of Paradox and Other Essays. Revised and enlarged ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  29. ———. 1977. Facts of the Matter. In American Philosophers from Edwards to Quine, ed. R.W. Shahan and K.R. Merrill, Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. Reprinted in Quine 2008, 271–286.Google Scholar
  30. ———. 1979. On not Learning to Quantify. Journal of Philosophy 76: 429–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. ———. 1981. Things and Their Place in Theories. In Theories and Things, 1–23. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  32. ———. 1990. Correspondence with Carnap. In Dear Carnap, Dear Van, ed. Richard Creath, 47–103. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  33. ———. 1992. Pursuit of Truth. Revised ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  34. ———. 1995. From Stimulus to Science. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  35. ———. 2008a [1946]. Nominalism. In Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, ed. Dean Zimmerman, vol. 4. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Reprinted in Quine 2008, 7–23.Google Scholar
  36. ———. 2008b. In Confessions of a Confirmed Extensionalist, ed. Dagfinn Føllesdal and Douglas Quine. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  37. ———. 2018 [1944]. The Significance of the New Logic. The Significance of the New Logic. A Translation of Quine’s O Sentido da Nova Logica. Edited and translated by W. Carnielli, F. Janssen-Lauret, and W. Pickering. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  38. ———. 2019. Science and Sensibilia: The 1980 Immanuel Kant Lectures, ed. Robert Sinclair. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  39. Quine, W.V., and R. Carnap. 1990. Dear Carnap, Dear Van: The Quine-Carnap Correspondence and Related Work. Ed. R. Creath. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  40. Schaffer, J. 2009. On What Grounds What. In Metametaphysics, ed. D.J. Chalmers, D. Manley, and R. Wasserman. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Sirken, Monroe G., Douglas J. Herrmann, Susan Schechter, Norbert Schwarz, Judith N. Tanur, and Roger Tourangeau. 1999. Cognition and Survey Research. New York: John Wiley and Son.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ManchesterManchesterUK

Personalised recommendations