Dialectica 30 (2‐3):255-259 (1976)

In his response to my article, “Historicism and Science: Thoughts on Quine” , Paul Bernays distinguishes between two aspects of the article: my criticism of Quine's theory of knowledge and my contention that the epistemological foundations of modern science lead to historicism. Bernays substantially accepts my criticism of Quine, particularly insofar as I reject Quine's behaviorism and “physicalism”. He opposes, however, my claim that historicism is implicit in the presuppositions of modern science. I argued that the historicism inherent in modern science is due to the essentially changeable character of modern science. Quine's theory of knowledge tacitly takes account of this changeable character a) through his view of sense experience as being constituted by posits, b) through his recognition that individual scientific statements are dependent upon a broad linguistic‐conceptual framework that is itself subject to change, and c) through his pragmatic conception of reason and the concomitant emphasis upon the criterion of simplicity
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DOI 10.1111/j.1746-8361.1976.tb00731.x
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