Dogmas of “two dogmas”

Southern Journal of Philosophy 11 (4):285-289 (1973)


W v o quine has argued that a thorough pragmatism in which 'no statement is immune to revision' is preferable to an empiricism which depends upon the dogmas of the analytic/synthetic distinction and reductionism. i argue that the processes of the revision of statements upon the basis of recalcitrant experiences and the redistribution of truth-values over statements in the system are just as dogmatically dependent as is the empiricism against which quine vies. in order for the re-evaluation of statements and redistribution of truth-values to take place, there must be some rule, principle (dogma) accepted as analytic and unrevisable within that theory according to which the re-evaluation and redistribution take place. and the reason for such a rule or principle is logical and not pragmatic. in other words, revisability cannot take place if every statement is open to revision

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