Epilegomena: What Is It All About?

  • W. V. QuineEmail author
Part of the History of Analytic Philosophy book series (History of Analytic Philosophy)


The lectures conclude with Quine’s reflections on significance or insignificance of ontology. He develops his arguments for the relativity of ontology and explains how this relativity emerges from an appreciation of the looseness of fit between reception and perception and the further recognition that all reification is theoretical. Given the kind of freedom that comes with the specification of an ontology, Quine concludes that the importance of theory is not to be found in the objects that it posits. Rather it is found in the structural relations between its terms and sentences and observation sentences. The links between theory and observation are found in the recurrence of observation sentences or their parts in theoretical sentences. What these sentences refer to, in their capacity as terms, becomes unimportant.


Ontology Reification Relativity Theory 


  1. Wigner, Eugene. 1967. Symmetries and Reflections: Scientific Essays of Eugene P. Wigner. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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