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Additional info for Enlightened empiricism: an examination of W.V. Quine's theory of knowledge

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So, these beliefs did not arise through a decision to believe. Our beliefs are about a world that we cannot help believing in. Science's connection with these beliefsits umbilical cordgives it its "ontological" character and makes it deal with truth and reality. No more ultimate tribunal exists and none is needed. OSLO, JANUARY 1988 Page xi List of Abbreviations Works by W. V. " In Theories and Things, 2430. " In Ontological Relativity and Other Essays, 6990. " In Theories and Things, 6772. " In Experience and Theory, edited by L.

Modesty can also grade off into simplicity. Simplicity is another virtue of plausible hypotheses, but simplicity is even more valued as a virtue of scientific theories: "There is a premium on simplicity in any hypothesis, but the highest premium is on simplicity in the giant joint hypothesis that is science, or the particular science, as a Page 19 whole. We cheerfully sacrifice simplicity of a part for greater simplicity of the whole when we see a way of doing so" (WB, 69). Exactly what simplicity is, Quine is not sure.

The myth of physical objects is epistemologically superior to most in that it has proved more efficacious than Page 17 other myths as a device for working a manageable structure into the flux of experience. (TDE, 44) These apparently contrary forces at work in Quine's view of science prompted J. J. C. Smart to remark that Quine's view of science vacillates between instrumentalism and realism (see Smart, 89). This apparent vacillation evinces a deep subtlety in Quine's philosophy, a subtlety associated with his attempt to accommodate both realism and instrumentalism within a consistent naturalism.

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