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Pursuit Of Truth / Edition 2

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Cambridge 1992 Trade paperback 2nd Revised ed. New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 128 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

In Pursuit of Truth W. V. Quine gives us his latest word on issues to which he has devoted many years. As he says in the preface: "In these pages I have undertaken to update, sum up, and clarify my variously intersecting views on cognitive meaning, objective reference, and the grounds of knowledge?'

The pursuit of truth is a quest that links observation, theory, and the world. Various faulty efforts to forge such links have led to much intellectual confusion. Quine's efforts to get beyond the confusion begin by rejecting the very idea of binding together word and thing, rejecting the focus on the isolated word. For him, observation sentences and theoretical sentences are the alpha and omega ofthe scientific enterprise. Notions like "idea" and "meaning" are vague, but a sentence-now there's something you can sink your teeth into.

Starting thus with sentences, Quine sketches an epistemological setting for the pursuit of truth. He proceeds to show how reification and reference contribute to the elaborate structure that can indeed relate science to its sensory evidence.In this book Quine both summarizes and moves ahead. Rich, lively chapters dissect his major concerns-evidence, reference, meaning, intension, and truth. "Some points;' he writes, "have become clearer in my mind in the eight years since Theories and Things. Some that were already clear in my mind have become clearer on paper. And there are some that have meanwhile undergone substantive change for the better." This is a key book for understanding the effort that a major philosopher has made a large part of his life's work: to naturalize epistemology in the twentieth century. The book is concise and elegantly written, as one would expect, and does not assume the reader's previous acquaintance with Quine's writings. Throughout, it is marked by Quine's wit and economy of style.

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Editorial Reviews

The Times - Anthony Quinton
Pursuit of Truth is, like all Quine's works, most engagingly written. He strives for concision of the most telegraphic sort, and achieves it in a way that gives the special pleasure evoked by a conspicuous skill.
Choice
With his usual wit and aplomb, Quine offers here his latest--though one hopes and expects not his last--word on a variety of intersecting topics that have figured centrally in his life's work...The book offers not only a lucid and compelling summary of Quine's views, but also provides invaluable clarifications, reformulations, and substantive updating...Capable of serving as a concise introduction to Quine's views, this book will also prove invaluable in more sophisticated efforts to understand and appraise his accomplishments.
The Times

Pursuit of Truth is, like all Quine's works, most engagingly written. He strives for concision of the most telegraphic sort, and achieves it in a way that gives the special pleasure evoked by a conspicuous skill.
— Anthony Quinton

The Times
Pursuit of Truth is, like all Quine's works, most engagingly written. He strives for concision of the most telegraphic sort, and achieves it in a way that gives the special pleasure evoked by a conspicuous skill.
— Anthony Quinton
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674739512
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 10/20/1992
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 0.27 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

W. V. Quine was Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University. He wrote twenty-one books, thirteen of them published by Harvard University Press.
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Table of Contents

PART 1: EVIDENCE

1. Stimulation and prediction

2. Observation sentences

3. Theory-laden?

4. Observation categoricals

5. Test and refutation

6. Holism

7. Empirical content

8. Norms and aims

PART 2: REFERENCE

9. Bodies

10. Values of variables

11. Utility of reification

12. Indifference of ontology

13. Ontology defused

PART 3: MEANING

14. The field linguist's entering wedge

15. Stimulation again

16. To each his own

17. Translation resumed

18. Indeterminacy of translation

19. Syntax

20. Indeterminacy of reference

21. Whither meanings?

22. Domestic meaning

23. Lexicography

PART 4: INTENSION

24. Perception and observation sentences

25. Perception extended

26. Perception of things

27. Belief and perception

28. Propositional attitudes

29. Anomalous monism

30. Modalities

31. A mentalistic heritage

PART 5: TRUTH

32. Vehicles of truth

33. Truth as disquotation

34. Paradox

35. Tarski's construction

36. Paradox skirted

37. Interlocked hierarchies

38. Excluded middle

39. Truth versus warranted belief

40. Truth in mathematics

41. Equivalent theories

42. Irresoluble rivalry

43. Two indeterminacies

References

Credits

Index

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