SOPhiA 2017

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

The Aftermath of the Quine-Carnap Dispute: A Pyrrhic Victory Called into Question
(History of Philosophy, English)

The debate over ontology that took place between Quine and Carnap around the middle of the twentieth century is traditionally pictured as one in which the two radically disagreed, and in which Quine came out the winner. Alspector-Kelly (2000) challenges this account, arguing that where it matters -- in rejecting traditional metaphysics -- Quine and Carnap are actually on the same side. He concludes his paper with the suggestion that the misrepresentation of Quine as having overthrown Carnap's anti-metaphysical project might be the cause of current confusion regarding Quine's own attitude toward metaphysics. In this paper, I aim to show that this is indeed the case. I will to this end first analyze how a distorted view of the Quine-Carnap debate could be said to be the source of such confusion. Then I will discuss one of the troubling ways in which this confusion manifests itself, focusing on a paper by Raley (2007), in which she subjects Quine's criterion of ontological commitment to a critique which I will argue to be valid only under the false assumption that Quine is or aims to be a traditional metaphysician.

Chair: Lucas Battich
Time: 11:50-12:20, 14 September 2017 (Thursday)
Location: SR 1.006

Kyrke Otto 
(University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

Kyrke Otto studies philosophy and classical languages at the University of Amsterdam. Her main interests within these disciplines include history of philosophy, Plato and (Neo)platonism, and naturalizing approaches to phenomenology. Above all, however, she is fond of blurring the lines between such categories. She works on the side as an editor, writer and baker.

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