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Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 3, 1977

Philip Ostien
Pages 319-366

Beyond Truth and Reference

Quine has moved toward "naturalism" in philosophy, which I applaud; at the same time his work has touched off a new round of pseudo-problems in philosophy, which I lament. I read the pseudo-problems as evidence that the shift toward naturalism has not been thorough-going enough. In this paper I undertake an extended discussion of sane of the problems and prospects of a thorough-going shift to a naturalistic viewpoint in philosophy, making frequent reference to Quine’s work. I suggest, in particular, that the notions of truth and reference, so central to Quine’s views, are not likely to survive as theoretically central notions within the kind of theory of language and thought which a more perfect naturalism (vaguely) foresees and works toward.