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Erkenntnis

pp 1–20 | Cite as

Quine’s Intuition: Why Quine’s Early Nominalism is Naturalistic

  • James Andrew SmithJr.Email author
Original Research
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Abstract

According to a growing consensus in the secondary literature on Quine, the judgment Quine makes in favor of the nominalism outlined in “Steps Toward a Constructive Nominalism” (Goodman and Quine (1947)) is in tension with the naturalism he later adopts. In this paper, I show the consensus view is mistaken by showing that Quine’s judgment is rooted in a naturalistic standard of clarity. Moreover, I argue that Quine late in his career is committed to accepting one plausible reading of his judgment in 1947. In making these arguments, I draw attention to a version of naturalism that misreadings of Quine have prevented philosophers from appreciating, and thereby articulate and clarify a version of naturalism I recommend philosophers investigate today.

Notes

Acknowledgements

An early version of this paper was presented at the 2017 Society for the Study of the History of Analytical Philosophy conference in Calgary, Alberta. I thank Vera Flocke, Peter Hylton, and Sander Verhaegh for their comments. I also thank David Fisher, Timothy Perrine, Joan Weiner, and anonymous referees for their comments on drafts of this paper. Special thanks go to Gary Ebbs, whose advice on drafts of this paper and encouragement during the writing process were invaluable.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana University, BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA

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