Analytic Philosophy

W.V.O. Quine

What was W.V.O. Quine’s holistic view of knowledge?

Quine’s holistic view was his positive account of knowledge after he attacked the second dogma of experience, that single statements or parts of a theory can be confirmed independently of each other. Quine thought that all of our scientific and lay theories were interconnected with the most general and abstract truths—for example, the truths of arithmetic—in the center of a web. Toward the periphery of this web were more specific generalizations and factual claims that were easier to give up in the face of an experience that contradicted them. It is this aspect of Quine’s thought that places him in the tradition of pragmatism.


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