Quine’s criticism of the “first dogma of empiricism”. (English) Zbl 1117.03013

Introduction: Quine’s conclusion concerning the possibility of a boundary between analytic and synthetic statements [see W. V. O. Quine, “Two dogmas of empiricism”, in: From a logical point of view. Logico-philosophical essays. Harvard UP, Cambridge, Mass. (1953; Zbl 0050.00501)] is:
“[a] boundary between analytic and synthetic statements simply has not been drawn. That there is such a distinction to be drawn at all is an unempirical dogma of empiricists, a metaphysical article of faith.”
Quine defended this conclusion consistently during all his scientific life [see, e.g., W. V. O. Quine, Pursuit of truth. Harvard UP, Cambridge, Mass. (1990; Zbl 0733.03002)]. Yet the most concise and thorough argumentation can be found just in “Two dogmas of empiricism”. I briefly recapitulate this argumentation and show that a necessary premise is missing. Then I try to demonstrate that this premise is unjustified, and show a way how to discover the meaning of a given expression.


03A05 Philosophical and critical aspects of logic and foundations
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