Posts Tagged ‘Quine’

A birthday

June 25, 2008

Willard Van Orman Quine. Main road philosopher. Empiricist post-modernist. Was born a hundred years ago.

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Biking philosophies

December 13, 2007

If Carnap and Quine had been the sorts of people to compete in various bike races, what gear would they have chosen?

Quine would have brought his dad’s bike to every single race, whether road or dirt, hill or track. Sure, he would have modified it every time, changed the handlebar here, the tires there. In fact, he would have even been willing to exchange the frame, in case he encountered a particularly recalcitrant route.

Carnap, on the other hand, wouldn’t even have owned a bike. He would have rented the latest specialty just fit for the particular route. He wouldn’t have minded that others made other choices – everybody gets to choose whatever suits them, as long as they don’t cheat. Of course, like Quine, he would have hoped that one day there would be a bike which worked best for all routes, but in the meantime he wouldn’t have settled for any one bike in particular. Different routes require different bikes.

The interesting question of course is this: who would have won more races?

dislike of

November 8, 2007

As previously noted on this blog, the index tends to be a good place to turn to when looking for unexpected sources of amusement in a book. This is from “Dear Carnap, Dear Van — The Quine-Carnap correspondence and related works”:

Hitler, Adolf: Carnap’s dislike of, 241; Quine’s dislike of, 260

Somehow this entry seems strangely redundant…