Setting Sail: The Development and Reception of Quine’s Naturalism

Philosophers' Imprint 18:1-24 (2018)
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Abstract

Contemporary analytic philosophy is dominated by metaphilosophical naturalism, the view that philosophy ought to be continuous with science. This naturalistic turn is for a significant part due to the work of W. V. Quine. Yet, the development and the reception of Quine’s naturalism have never been systematically studied. In this paper, I examine Quine’s evolving naturalism as well as the reception of his views. Scrutinizing a large set of unpublished notes, correspondence, drafts, papers, and lectures as well as published responses to Quine’s work, I show how both internal tensions and external criticisms forced him to continuously develop, rebrand, and refine his metaphilosophy before he explicitly decided to label his view ‘naturalism’ in the late 1960s.

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Sander Verhaegh
Tilburg University

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