Quine on logic, propositional attitudes, and the unity of knowledge
AbstractI shall examine Quine’s conception of logic, of propositional attitudes, and of the unity of knowledge in order to show that there are some tensions in Quine’s system. I first propose a conception of the use or application of logic, stating that logic strictly speaking applies to intentional phenomena or to things that presuppose the existence of intentional phenomena. Then, I con-sider briefly Quine’s philosophy of logic and discuss some issues. In Quine’s philosophy, logic stays at the very center of the web of our beliefs; it is cen-tral in science and ordinary knowledge as well. Then I examine Quine’s tendency to “quine” the mental, given his own maxim of minimum mutila-tion. Finally, I consider Quine’s thesis of the unity of knowledge, the thesis that there is continuity from ordinary to scientific knowledge. If I am right about the use of logic and the presence of the propositional attitude idiom in ordinary knowledge and social sciences and humanities, I think there is a problem of consistency in Quine’s system, and that Quine himself pointed to a part of the solution.
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