Rafts, Boats, and Cruise Ships: Naturalism and holism in Quine’s philosophy

Sander Verhaegh

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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During the past few decades, a radical shift has occurred in how philosophers conceive of the relation between science and philosophy. A great number of analytic philosophers have adopted what is commonly called a naturalistic approach, arguing that their inquiries ought to be in some sense continuous with science. Where early analytic philosophers often relied on a sharp distinction between science and philosophy—the former an empirical discipline concerned with fact, the latter an a priori discipline concerned with meaning—philosophers today largely follow Willard Van Orman Quine (1908-2000) in his seminal rejection of this distinction as well as in his reconstruction of their discipline in naturalistic terms, thereby propagating a thorough, scientifically informed, philosophy.

This book offers a historical study of Quine’s naturalism. It provides a detailed reconstruction of Quine’s development, a novel interpretation of his arguments, and a systematic investigation into the presuppositions underlying his position. As such this dissertation aims to contribute to the rapidly developing historiography of analytic philosophy as well as to a better, historically informed, understanding of what is philosophically at stake in the contemporary naturalistic turn.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Peijnenburg, Jeanne, Supervisor
  • Tamminga, Allard, Co-supervisor
  • Ebbs, G. (Gary), Assessment committee, External person
  • Glock, H.J, Assessment committee, External person
  • Decock, Lieven, Assessment committee, External person
Award date19-Nov-2015
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-8255-5
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8254-8
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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