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Quine and the Kantian Problem of Objectivity

  • Gary KempEmail author
Chapter
Part of the History of Analytic Philosophy book series (History of Analytic Philosophy)

Abstract

Did Quine respond to the Kant-like question of what makes objectivity possible? And if so, what was his answer? I think Quine did have an answer, which is in fact a central theme in his philosophy. For his epistemology was not concerned with the question whether we have knowledge of the external world. His philosophy takes for granted that physics provides the most fundamental account of reality that we have. And like many positivists including Carnap, he takes that sort of question to have a fundamentally changed and newly tractable character. His more general epistemological question is what is actually involved in a human subject coming to have knowledge of the objective world, when limited to the deliverances of his or her own senses. Most of the story is well-known, but an essential link was not fully explicit until 1990s: the doctrine of Pre-Established Harmony.

Keywords

Epistemology Objectivity Pre-established harmony 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, School of HumanitiesUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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