Analytic Philosophy

W.V.O. Quine

Who was W.V.O. Quine?

W.V.O. (Willard Van Orman) Quine (1908–2000) represents the apogee of twentieth century scientific philosophy; in many ways he combined the best of logical positivism, pragmatism, and scientific empiricism. He was born in Akron, Ohio, and studied at Oberlin College and then Harvard. He earned his Ph.D. in 1932 and then became a Harvard Fellow. This allowed four years for research and travel before beginning his 50-year Harvard teaching career in 1936.

His influence is considered monumental, and he has been highly regarded, even revered, as a person. Quine’s main books are Word and Object (1964), The Ways of Paradox, and Other Essays (1976), Ontological Relativity (1977), From a Logical Point of View: Nine Logico-Philosophical Essays (1980), From Stimulus to Science (1998), Theories and Things (1986), Pursuit of Truth (1992), and Quiddities: An Intermittently Philosophical Dictionary (1989).

Scientific philosopher W.V.O. Quine believed: “To be is to be the value of a variable.” (AP)

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