Quine and Wittgenstein on the Science/Philosophy Divide

Humana Mente 5 (21) (2012)

Abstract

In this article I first sketch what I take to be two Quinean arguments for the continuity of philosophy with science. After examining Wittgenstein’s reasons for not accepting the arguments, I conclude that they are ineffective on Wittgenstein’s assumptions. Next, I ask three related questions: Where do Quine’s and Wittgenstein’s philosophical views essentially diverge? Did Wittgenstein have an argument against the continuity of science with philosophy? Did Wittgenstein believe until the end of his philosophical career that scientific results are philosophically irrelevant? It will be seen that all three questions are related with Wittgenstein’s distinction between conceptual and factual issues. I conclude that the opposition between Quinean philosophy and Wittgensteinian philosophy is genuine.

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Diego Marconi
Università degli Studi di Torino

References found in this work

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic.Rudolf Carnap - 1947 - Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
On Certainty (Ed. Anscombe and von Wright).Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1969 - New York and London: Harper Torchbooks.

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