Willard Van Orman Quine

Picture of Willard Van Orman Quine

Date of Birth: 06/25/1908

Age: 92

Birthplace: Akron

Citizenship: United States


Quine was born in Akron (pcs. Ohio) 25 June 1908. He was educated at Oberlin College and Harvard University, he trained at R.Karnapa in Prague, met with A.Tarskim in Warsaw. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1932, presenting a dissertation on logic, prepared under the direction of Whitehead. In 1936 Quine began a long career as a teacher of philosophy, in 1948-1978 he was a professor of philosophy at Harvard University.

Quine uses the achievements of modern logic to clarify and resolve traditional philosophical problems, especially the ontological series (question forms of "What kind of things are there?"). According to Quine, philosophers should prefer the "desert landscapes" and prevent the existence of any object only when it is absolutely necessary. Check the need, he suggests, is deceptively simple: a thing exists, if and only if the best theory, in its most economical formulation, claims that it exists. As Quine believes that the best theory must include at least the objects of physics, he wanted to prove that they are the only objects that require the best theory. From the perspective of Quine, the main obstacle to this is the proof that mathematics requires the existence of abstract entities (eg, numbers or sets). At the same time, he sees no way to reduce or eliminate such entities.

Quine also known for its criticism of the statements that some truths are "analytic" (ie, true in virtue of the mere value of their constituent expressions). The existence of such truths is assumed by most philosophers of "ordinary language" in many empiricist concepts of logic and mathematics. Quine thinks that the concept of meaning itself is hopelessly confused and even the so-called "Analytic truth", including the laws of logic are subject to revision in the face of a new experience. The last statement is closely related to "holism" Quine - his thesis that the theory can be tested only as a certain integrity.

Among the major works of Quine - Logic (Mathematical Logic, 1940); From the point of view of logic (From a Logical Point of View, 1953); Word and Object (Word and Object, 1960); Ontological Relativity and Other Essays (Ontological Relativity and Other Essays, 1969); Logic Philosophy (Philosophy of Logic, 1970); Designations of origin (The Roots of Reference, 1974); Time of My Life: an autobiography (The Time of My Life: An Autobiography, 1985).