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Quine on Naturalism, Nominalism, and Philosophy's Place within Science

Smith, Jr, James Andrew (2019) Quine on Naturalism, Nominalism, and Philosophy's Place within Science. [Preprint]

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Naturalism Nominalism Philosophy's Place 2.13.19 PhilSci preprint.docx - Accepted Version

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Abstract

W.V. Quine is a well-known proponent of naturalism, the view on which reality is described only in science. He is also well-known for arguing that our current scientific theories commit us to the existence of abstract objects. It is tempting to believe that the naturalistic philosopher should think scientists outside of philosophy are in the best position to assess the merits of revising our current commitment to abstract objects. But Quine rejects this deferential view. On the reading of Quine's philosophical methodology that I defend in this paper, the naturalistic philosopher not only may assess the merits of revising the commitments of our scientific theories, but also will recommend we make such revisions if doing so simplifies and clarifies our science. To develop my reading, I will examine John Burgess and Gideon Rosen's naturalism in ontology that includes the deferential view Quine rejects. By explaining how Quine's naturalism differs from the anti-revisionist, deferential naturalism in philosophy of mathematics that Burgess and Rosen advance, I seek to clarify and advance contemporary debates on naturalism.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Smith, Jr, James Andrewsmith986@indiana.edu0000-0001-9579-8331
Keywords: Quine; naturalism; Nominalism; Science; Burgess; Rosen; ontology; Metaphysics; metaontology; metaphilosophy; Philosophy of Mathematics; methodology
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Epistemology
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > History of Philosophy
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Methodology
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Ontology
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Practice
General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Depositing User: Mr James A. Smith, Jr.
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2019 13:51
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2019 13:51
Item ID: 15740
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Epistemology
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > History of Philosophy
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Methodology
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Ontology
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Practice
General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Date: 12 February 2019
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15740

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