Explore BrainMass

Explore BrainMass

    Consequences of rejecting two dogmas of empiricism

    This content was COPIED from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

    What are the consequences, according to Quine, of rejecting what he calls 'the two dogmas of empiricism?

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com March 4, 2021, 5:47 pm ad1c9bdddf

    Solution Preview

    1. Which are the two dogmas?

    First dogma: the analytic/synthetic distinction. That there is a distinction between analytic and synthetic statements, namely: analytic statements are true in virtue of meaning alone while synthetic statements are true in virtue of being grounded in experience.

    Second dogma: reductionism. A radical version: each statement of a theory can be translated into a statement about immediate experience. A less radical version: to each statement there is a unique range of possible sensory events whose occurrence would add to the likelohood of truth of the statement (confirmation) and again a unique range of possible sensory events whose occurrence would detract from this likelihood (infirmation).

    2. How does Quine argue against the two dogmas?

    a.) Against the first dogma.
    Quine's thesis: There is no non-trivial or non-arbitrary distinction between analytic and synthetic statements.
    Rationale: there are various candidates that have been proposed to explain analyticity, but these are either trivial, circular, vacuous, or arbitrary. These candidates are:

    I. Logical truths: (1) 'No unmarried man is married'. No problem with these. But these are trivial instances of analyticity. What are of interest with respect to analyticity are non-trivial instances like (2) 'No bachelor is married'.

    II. Synonymy: (2) can be transformed into a statement like (1) by putting synonyms for synonyms, i.e. 'unmarried man' for 'bachelor'. But for this we need a clear ...