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On Quine’s Theory of Empiricism

Author: TangYingZhi
Tutor: HuangZhenDing
School: Hunan Normal University
Course: Foreign Philosophy
Keywords: Empiricism Holism Naturalism Logic Positivism Pragmatism Post-Positivism
CLC: B712
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 25
Quote: 0
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Famous American philosopher W. Van O· Quine (1908-2001) is honored as one of the most influential English philosophers. He is the New Pragmatism founder. He was playing a crucial role in the1950s, when an union took place between Analytic Philosophy and Pragmatism. His influence mainly came from two aspects. Firstly, he criticized Logic Positivism violently "two kind of doctrines" and other traditional ideas, which powerfully vacillated Logic Positivism’s rationales. These became the major reason that Logic Positivism after the60s declined gradually. Secondly, he caused Analytic Philosophy to pragmatism diligently. He derived from the massive Pragmatism viewpoints into Analytic Philosophy, which urged Analytic Philosophy and Pragmatism to unify. It gave New Pragmatism to birth.This kind of transformation that took Pragmatism into traditional Empiricism enriched the intrinsic development of Empiricism enormously, pro-founded connotations for us to understand Empiricism without doubt and provided new theory support in the future. To describe Quine s Empiricism connotations and characteristics in detail this article is divided into three parts:The first part outlines historical perspective-Quine s Empiricism realizes Empiricism’s transition. There are not only crisis of the traditional Epistemology, Ontology and Methodology which are unable to overcome by themselves, but also historical background of the Analysis dilemma, logical development and the linguistic turn. Quine criticizes Logic Positivism and its two doctrine rationales (Difference between analysis proposition and synthesis proposition, Reductionism).The second part through comparing Quine’s Empiricism with Modern Empiricism elaborates Quine’s Empiricism connotations and characteristics in detail in Quine’s " two dogmas of the Empiricism. And then we can find similarities and differences between Quine’s Empiricism and Modern Empiricism. Finally He realizes Empiricism’s the fourth and fifth transition-Holism and Naturalism.The third part appraises influence of Quine’s Empiricism. Because Quine’s Empiricism has a huge influence on Empiricism’s development. At first he eliminates modern Empiricism’s non-sense datum. Moreover he makes Empiricism philosophers to start to pay attention to Metaphysics. He also causes Logic Positivism to decline and Post-Positivism Philosophy to emerge.The conclusion points out Quine’s Empiricism has the most basic critique on Logic Empiricism, which has widespread and pro-founded influence on Quine’s philosophy and modern Analytic Philosophy’s development. It profoundly alters the horizon of Contemporary Analytic Philosophy and urges Post-Positivism Philosophy to start. This transition has also had the huge influence on the whole western p, for example Richard Rorty. He dispels Analytic Philosophy even all capital letter philosophies and initiates post-philosophy culture.

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