[hist-analytic] Quine's "two dogmas"

Danny Frederick danny.frederick at tiscali.co.uk
Mon Feb 2 09:46:09 EST 2009

Hi Rogério,

Just a couple of points.

While it is in general a good policy to try to interpret a philosopher in a
way that does not attribute inconsistency to him, we have to recognise that
people who devote their lives to learning will, at times, actually learn
something and as a consequence revise their earlier views. So the fact that
Quine says something in 1951 which he appears to contradict in 1973 (and
even in 1960) could just show that he has changed his mind.

I’ve not studied Quine in a long while, so I am very unsure what his view
is. But if, as you say, he was (at least in his later writings) rejecting
not the possibility of drawing the analytic/synthetic distinction, but just
the claim that there is an epistemically significant analytic/synthetic
distinction, then I think he may be right. This is, I think, the view I put
forward myself in a recent response to Roger.



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