Quine and Dogma Essay example

Quine and Dogma Essay example

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If a dogma is an unfounded conclusion or simply a statement, then it would seem that dogmas have little or no place in philosophical theories. That is to say, if philosophy seeks a better understanding of knowledge, then anything that is strictly dogmatic would be just the opposite. The only issue with dogmatic ideas within philosophy is the ability to discern them. When Quine titled this paper he was asserting that there were a couple of ideas within empiricism that lacked a proper foundation. The title leads us to believe Quine has discovered something fundamentally wrong with empiricism. When Quine says, “One effect of abandoning them [the two dogmas] is, as we shall see, a blurring of supposed boundary between speculative metaphysics and natural science. Another effect is a shift toward pragmatism,” we can conclude that he is not dispelling the idea of empiricism rather; he is trying improve empiricism by removing something he believes is standing in the way.
The first thing Quine now needs to carry out (and he did just prior to the aforementioned statement) is announce what the two dogmas are and then dispel them. He starts with the assumed separation between analytic statements and synthetic ones. Those that are analytic seem to be those that are merely definitions or synonyms. The part that completely confounds me about analytic truths is the definition of the synthetic truths. Quine defines synthetic truths as “grounded in fact.” I would like to believe here that Quine is grossly misrepresenting the idea of analytic truths since the only option left would be a truth that is not grounded in fact or maybe on that is only a little grounded in fact. In spite of my inability to comprehend the idea of analytic truth that has ...


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...based on empirical knowledge yet they also wanted to be able to make logical assertions about the empirical knowledge. They wanted pragmatic empiricism. Quine did not allow the negative views of empiricism being merely a method of description stop him from developing his pragmatic theories. While it might at first seem that he simply rejected radical reductionism but in fact it was in his integration of the analytic into the synthetic that allowed him to accomplish the rejection.
Quine does not have two languages (synthetic/empirical vs. analytic/abstract) so Quine naturally would not have a reductionism that only allowed for one of those languages. Once you are able to start out with the idea that people are merely collections of empirical knowledge then you no longer have to compensate for the non-empirical or hyper-empirical (reductionism) aspects of arguments.

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