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IElliott Sober

Elliott Sober
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8349.00071 237-280 First published online: 1 July 2000


In ‘Two Dogmas of Empiricism’, Quine attacks the analytic/synthetic distinction and defends a doctrine that I call epistemological holism. Now, almost fifty years after the article’s appearance, what are we to make of these ideas? I suggest that the philosophical naturalism that Quine did so much to promote should lead us to reject Quine’s brief against the analytic/synthetic distinction; I also argue that Quine misunderstood Carnap's views on analyticity. As for epistemological holism, I claim that this thesis does not follow from the logical point that Duhem and Quine made about the role of auxiliary assumptions in hypothesis testing, and that the thesis should be rejected.

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