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Pragma and dogma

Notes on:
Willard Van Orman Quine, “Two Dogmas of Empiricism”

Quine begins,

Kant’s cleavage between analytic and synthetic truths was foreshadowed in Hume’s distinction between relations of ideas and matters of fact, and in Leibniz’s distinction between truths of reason and truths of fact. Leibniz spoke of the truths of reason as true in all possible worlds. Picturesqueness aside, this is to say that the truths of reason are those which could not possibly be false.

It is pragmatism’s lack of picturesqueness that lends it the air of housekeeping, an expedient, not always unpleasant, but less than inspiring, vocation. Is it true, is it real, is it necessary, is it, in any sense, a virtue to keep one’s toilet clean? Be careful… It is none of these things without slipping into something other than pragmatism. We do it. Most of us. That’s all.

—Iaia Gombrowicz

Posted by iaia in epistemology (Friday December 23, 2005 at 3:50 pm)

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