Quine, Putnam, and the Naturalization of Metaphysics

Sander Verhaegh



    Naturalists argue that metaphysics ought to be in some sense continuous with science. Putnam has claimed that if we push naturalism to its limits, we have to conclude with Quine that reference is indeterminate. Since Putnam believes Quine’s thesis to be extremely counterintuitive, he regards naturalism to be an unsatisfactory approach to metaphysics. In this essay, I will show that Quine’s ideas about reference do not necessarily follow from his naturalism and that, as a result, Putnam’s reductio argument against naturalism breaks down. In addition, I will argue that Putnam’s pluralistic alternative to Quine’s views is perfectly compatible with a naturalistic perspective as well and that, in consequence, even for a naturalist the relation between science and metaphysics is less straightforward than it might initially seem to be.
    Originele taal-2English
    TitelMetaphysics or Modernity?
    RedacteurenS. Baumgartner, T. Heisenberg, S. Krebs
    Plaats van productieBamberg
    UitgeverijBamberg University Press
    Aantal pagina's21
    ISBN van elektronische versie978-3-86309-181-1
    ISBN van geprinte versie978-3-86309-180-4
    StatusPublished - 2014

    Publicatie series

    NaamSchriften der Fakultät Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften der Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
    UitgeverijUniversity of Bamberg Press
    ISSN van geprinte versie1866-7627

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