By Peter Hylton
Routledge – 2007 – 406 pages
Series: Arguments of the Philosophers
Quine was one of the foremost philosophers of the Twentieth century. In this outstanding overview of Quine's philosophy, Peter Hylton shows why Quine is so important and how his philosophical naturalism has been so influential within analytic philosophy.
Beginning with an overview of Quine's philosophical background in logic and mathematics and the role of Rudolf Carnap's influence on Quine's thought, he goes on to discuss Quine's famous analytic-synthetic distinction and his arguments concerning the nature of the a priori. He also discusses Quine's philosophy of language and epistemology, his celebrated theory of the indeterminacy of translation and his broader views of ontology and modality.
This book is essential reading for anyone interested in Quine, twentieth century philosophy and the philosophy of language.
'…required reading for anyone interested in Quine, twentieth century philosophy, the role of science, or language. No academic library will be complete without this superb new work.' CHOICE
'This is an excellent book, and a welcome addition to the Arguments of the Philosophers series. Peter Hylton succeeds in giving a comprehensive exposition of Quine’s main ideas and arguments… It is the most comprehensive single-authored account to date.' - Michael Beaney, University of York, UK
'Hylton's book is a first rate piece of scholarship.' - Roger Gibson, Washington University in St.Louis, USA
'This is an excellent piece of work by a philosopher who clearly is expert in Quine scholarship.' -Alexander Miller, University of Birmingham, UK
1. Introduction 2. Quine’s Philosophical Background: Beginnings; Logic; Carnap 3. The Analytic-synthetic Distinction 4. Re-conceiving Epistemology 5. The Beginnings of Cognitive Language: Shared Responses to Stimulation and Observation Sentences 6. Beyond the Observation Sentences 7. Theory and Evidence 8. Radical Translation and its Indeterminacy 9. Quinean Metaphysics: Limning the Structure of Reality 10. A Framework for Theory: the Role of Logic 11. Extensionality, Reference, and Singular Terms 12. Ontology, Physicalism, Realism 13. Minds, Beliefs, and Modality. Conclusion. Index