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Quine’s Ding an sich: Proxies, Structure, and Naturalism

  • Paul A. GregoryEmail author
Chapter
Part of the History of Analytic Philosophy book series (History of Analytic Philosophy)

Abstract

In the fourth Immanuel Kant Lecture, Quine summons the specter of Kant’s Ding an sich, the thing in itself. Clearly antithetical to his naturalism, Quine quickly dismisses it as having feet of clay. Despite this short shrift, it is worth examining what he did say about the Ding an sich—in the Kant Lectures, in “Things and Their Place in Theories”, and in “Structure and Nature”. I offer a critical reading of these passages in the context of Quine’s proxy functions, ontological relativity, and structure. I argue that Quine uses the Ding an sich as a foil for his anti-metaphysical, deflationary structuralism—a view that grounds objectivity in true statements, without any transcendental notion of objects, without the Ding an sich.

Keywords

Naturalism Ontological relativity Proxy functions Structure 

References

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Washington and Lee UniversityLexingtonUSA

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