Willard Van Orman Quine

Philosopher and Mathematician

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 Home page for Willard Van Orman Quine, mathematician and philosopher who held the Edgar Pierce Chair of Philosophy at Harvard University from 1956-2000. Over the last half century his literary output was prodigious in such areas as mathematical logic, set theory, the philosophy of language, and the philosophy of logic. His best known works include "The Ways of Paradox", "Mathematical Logic", "Set Theory and Its Logic", "Quiddities", and his most influential "Word and Object". His style is not only eminently lucid but lively and elegant. Professor Quine was born June 25, 1908 (anti-Christmas) and died December 25, 2000 (Christmas). The last paper he presented was Three Networks: Similarity, Implication, and Membership in Boston (August 1998); it was published in Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy (#6). Quine has made many contributions to logic, but in his philosophical writings he focuses on meaning and existence - the age old concerns of philosopher-man - and he thus continues the traditions begun by the ancient Greeks. Because he is America's most influential living philosopher, many of his concerns have become major concerns of his contemporaries. [from "Essays on the Philosophy of W. V. Quine"]

Extensive visitor comments regarding his philosophy may be read in the W. V. Quine guest book and you may sign into (email) the guestbook: [guestbook] to post your comments or questions. This page is maintained by Douglas Boynton Quine; please E-Mail recommended additions, or corrections to the webmaster: [webmaster]


 Quine's Autobiography

W. V. Quine's Books and translations (11 pages)

This bibliography includes all known books, revised editions, and translations of the books written by W. V. Quine.

W. V. Quine's Posthumous Collections (1 page)

The table of contents of the 5 volume Philosophy of Quine (Dagfinn Føllesdal, editor) and Quintessence - Basic Readings from the Philosophy of W. V. Quine (Roger Gibson, editor).

W. V. Quine's Essays, Articles, Reviews, and Abstracts (11 pages)

This bibliography includes all known essays, articles, and reviews written by W. V. Quine together with a major reprint citation if available. It is based upon the extensive bibliographies published by Eddie Yeghiayan (Special Collections, Main Library, University of California, Irvine, CA ), The Philosophy of W. V. Quine (P. A. Schilpp, editor) and Essays on the Philosophy of W. V. Quine (R. W. Shahan and Chris Swoyer, editors).

Fiction by W. V. Quine

  • 1951. It Tastes Like Chicken in Furioso: Winter 1951 pp. 37-39
  • 1989. (1951 story, reprinted) It Tastes Like Chicken in Delos: Spring 1989, pp. 139 - 141

Selected Popular Book Reviews by W. V. Quine

  • 1963, Sept. 26. Magna Carta on: National Geographic Atlas. -- In: New York Review of Books 1(3): 8 read archive copy
  • 1964, Jan. 9. Mencken on: HL. Mencken. The American Language. -- In: New York Review of Books 1 (9): 7 read archive copy [reprinted in W. V. Quine's Theories and Things]
  • 1964, Mar. 5. On The Map on: The Atlas of Britain and Northern Ireland -- In: New York Review of Books 2 (2): 17 read archive copy
  • 1964, July 9. Science and Truth on: JJC. Smart. Philosophy and Scientific Realism -- In: New York Review of Books read archive copy [reprinted in W. V. Quine's Theories and Things]
  • 1965, Sept. 30. Charting the World on: L. Bagrow. History of Cartography -- In: New York Review of Books 5 (4): 18 read archive copy
  • 1968, May 5. Of: Times Atlas of the World. -- In: Book World (Washington Post & Chicago Tribune): page 7 [reprinted in W. V. Quine's Theories and Things]
  • 1969, Dec. 4. Words Enough on: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language; Random House Dictionary of the English Language, College Edition. -- In: New York Review of Books 13 (10): 3 read archive copy
  • 1978, May 28. Otherworldly on: Smullyan. What is the Name of this Book? -- In: New York Times Review, pp. 6, 17
  • 1978, Nov. 23. Otherworldly on: N. Goodman. Ways of Worldmaking. -- In: New York Review of Books read archive copy [reprinted in W. V. Quine's Theories and Things]
  • 1985, Feb. 14. Four Hot Questions in Philosophy on: PF. Strawson. Skepticism and Naturalism: Some Varieties (The Woodbridge Lectures, 1983). -- In: New York Review of Books read archive copy

Books and Essays on W. V. Quine (some Roger Gibson Annotations)- 7 page list

Reviews and Announcements of W. V. Quine's Books

  • Methods of Logic, third edition: RBJ's Bibliography and notes
  • Mathematical Logic Comprehensive book review in Bactra: Informal logic is an inescapable part of life as a human being with a plugged-in brain, and not a vegetable or a raving lunatic; even post-structuralists and critical theorists may be observed, off-duty, saying ``That can't be right, because...'' Formal logic is a notoriously dry subject, initiated in the West by the prince of pedants, Aristotle. Mathematical logic, which has emerged only in the last hundred and fifty years, is well known to be abstruse and terrifying, and has made the logician into a creature mathematicians view in much the same way others view mathematicians, i.e. a repository of incomprehensible knowledge. When, in 1995, the Bertrand Russell e-mail list attempted to list all those who had read all three volumes of Whitehead and Russell's Principia Mathematica, they came up with less than two dozen names; two of those people died while the list was being compiled.....
  • Philosophy of Logic RBJ's Bibliography and notes.
  • Quiddities A book review by Danny Yee (danny@cs.su.oz.au ), Copyright (c) 1992. Quiddities is a collection of short pieces modeled on ...
  • Quiddities Harvard University Press Bestsellers: "Quiddities is the work of an author who has faith in his own idiosyncratic"...
  • The Time Of My Life. An Autobiography "Quine is a most elegant, perceptive, and entertaining writer, combining a poetic"...

Popular References to W. V. Quine

Please E-Mail references to Quine in popular publications and novels to the webmaster: [webmaster] ... I'm missing many.
  • Quine, Douglas. 1991. "Philosophical Quine Commemorated by San Marino Postmark." Linn's Stamp News (Aug. 19 91): 14
  • Johnson, G. 1995. "O.J. Meets Willard Quine" The New York Times, Sunday May 21, Section 4; Page 1 (Ideas & Trends: Imaginary Witness; O.J.'s Blood and the Big Bang, Together at Last)
  • Hardcastle, Gary. 1996. "Themes in Contemporary Analytic Philosophy... as Reflected in the Work of Monty Python". This talk was written in response to a request from the Philosophy Club at Virginia Tech. Comments from Python fans, philosophers, interested bystanders, raving loonies, and any combination of the above are welcomed! - Gary L. Hardcastle (garyh@vt.edu) Department of Philosophy/Center for the Study of Science..., 27Apr96
  • Boyd, William. 1998. William Boyd's novel "Armadillo" begins with a quote by Quine. The book was recently made into a movie by A&E in collaboration with the BBC (2002) - Eric Thrane.

Humorous References to W. V. Quine

reprinted with permission from the Philosophical Powers Action Figure Web Site by Ian Vandewalker


Residences of W. V. Quine (first draft, corrections welcomed)

  • 396 Nash Street, Akron, Ohio (1908-1909)
  • 38 Hawthorne Street, Akron, Ohio (1909-1919)
  • 16 Orchard Road, Akron, Ohio (1919-1926)
  • 111 Forest Street, Oberlin, Ohio (1926)
  • 30 East Lorain Street, Oberlin, Ohio (1927-1930) "Arthron" house story and photograph
  • 13 Howland Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1930-1931)
  • 888 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1931-1932)
  • Pension Wagner-Szamvald, Hörlgasse, Vienna, Austria (1932-1933)
  • Schwarzspanierstrasse, Vienna, Austria (1933)
  • Pension Fiser, Na Petrska 3, Prague, Czechoslovakia (1933)
  • Hotel Victoria, Ulic Jasna 26, Warsaw, Poland (1933)
  • Ridgely Hall, 65 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1933-1934)
  • 52 Garden Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1934-1935)
  • 91 Washington Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1935-1936)
  • 61 Frost Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1936-1937)
  • 21 Waverly Avenue, Newton, Massachusetts (1937-1938)
  • 76 Grozier Road, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1938)
  • Rua da Misericordia 29, Ponta Delgada, Azores (1938-1939)
  • (?) 76 Grozier Road, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1939-1940)
  • 65 Sparks Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1940-1942)
  • Brazil (1942 summer)
  • 843 Fifty-first Street, S.E., Washington DC (1942-1943)
  • 1006 Elm Street, Takoma Park, Maryland (1943-1944)
  • North Danville Street, Arlington, Virginia (1944-1945)
  • 9 Ware Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1945-?)
  • ?, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • North Main Street, Nashua, New Hampshire (1948-1949)
  • 34 Haldeman Road, Santa Monica, California (1949)
  • Harvard Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1949-)
  • 291 School Street, Belmont, Massachusetts (1951-1958)
  • 8A Merton Street, Oxford, England; side entrance was 8 Logic Lane (1953-1954 Sabbatical at Oxford)
  • General Delivery, Harvard, Massachusetts (1956-1998, summers when not elsewhere)
  • 38 Chestnut Street, Boston, Massachusetts (1958-2000, when not elsewhere)
  • Maxwell Lane, Princeton, New Jersey (1956-1957 Sabbatical at Princeton University)
  • 743 Cooksey Lane, Stanford, California (1959-1960 Sabbatical at Stanford University)
  • 35 Home Ave, Middletown, Connecticut (1965 spring Sabbatical at Wesleyan University)
  • Rockefeller University, York Avenue, New York, New York (1968 spring Sabbatical at Rockefeller University)
  • 9 Holywell Street, Oxford, England (1973-1974 Sabbatical at Oxford University)

Newspaper Profiles of W. V. Quine


passport age 40 with wife Marjorie

WVQ Obituaries, Memorials, Symposia, and Photographs

"Earned" Degrees

  • Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio; 1930 (BA)
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; 1931 (MA)
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; 1932 (PhD)

Honorary Degrees

  1. Oxford University, Oxford, England; 1953 (MA)
  2. Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio; June, 1955 (LittD)
  3. Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; June 7, 1957 (LLD)
  4. University of Lille, France; October, 1965 (LLD)
  5. University of Akron, Akron, Ohio; December, 1965 (LittD)
  6. Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri; June 5, 1966 (LittD)
  7. University of Chicago, May 5, 1967 (LHD)
  8. Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; June 1970 (LittD)
  9. Oxford University, Oxford, England; June 1970 (DLitt)
  10. Cambridge University, Cambridge, England; June 1978 (LittD)
  11. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; June 1979 (LLD)
  12. Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; June 1980 (DPh)Uppsala universitet. Hedersdoktorer Doctores honoris causa. Filosofie hedersdoktorer.
  13. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York; May 1981 (LHD)
  14. University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; December 1982 (DPh)
  15. University of Granada, Granada, Spain; 1986 (DPh)
  16. Ripon College, Ripon, Wisconsin; May 15, 1983 (LittD)
  17. Adelphi University, New York, May 21, 1989 (LittD)
  18. Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany; June 1997 (Dr.phil.)

Awards and Offices

  • Sheldon Traveling Fellow (Harvard University) 1932-1933 (Vienna, Prague, Warsaw)
  • Society of Fellows (Harvard University), Junior Fellow, 1933-1936
  • Harvard University, Instructor and Tutor in Philosophy, 1936-1941
  • Harvard University, Associate Professor in Philosophy, 1941-1948
  • Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, Visiting Professor, 1942
  • United States Navy, Lieutenant then Lieutenant Commander, active duty, 1942-1946
  • Harvard University, Professor of Philosophy, 1948-1956
  • Society of Fellows (Harvard University), Senior Fellow, 1949-1978
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, fellow 1949 -
  • Harvard University, Chairman, Philosophy, 1952-1953
  • Association for Symbolic Logic, President, 1953-1955
  • Bicentennial Silver Medallion, Columbia University, NY, October 13, 1954
  • Harvard University, Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy, 1956-1978
  • Institute for Advanced Studies (Princeton, NJ) 1956-1957
  • Society of Fellows (Harvard University), Chairman 1957-1958
  • American Philosophical Association, President 1957
  • American Philosophical Society, member 1957 -
  • Centre for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (Palo Alto, CA) 1958-1959
  • British Academy, corresponding fellow 1959 -
  • Instituto Brasileiro de Filosophia, corresponding member 1963-
  • Centre for Advanced Studies (Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT) 1965
  • Nicholas Murray Butler gold medal, Columbia University, NY; June 2, 1970
  • Sir Henry Saville Fellow, Merton College, Oxford University, 1973-1974
  • National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC, fellow 1977 -
  • Institut de France 1978 -
  • Harvard University, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, 1978 -
  • Norwegian Academy of Sciences 1979 -
  • F. Polacky gold medal, Prague, 1991
  • Charles University, gold medal, Prague, 1993
  • Rolf Schock Prize, Sweden; 1993 [first award in 'Logic and Philosophy' to: 'Professor W. V. Quine, USA, for his systematical and penetrating discussions of how learning of language and communication are based on socially available evidence and of the consequences of this for theories on knowledge and linguistic meaning - in particular the works From a Logical Point of View (1953), Word and Object (1960), and Pursuit of Truth (1990, 1992)'.]
  • Kyoto Prize, Kyoto, Japan; November, 1996 from Kyocera's Inamouri Foundation
    • We watched the magnificent ceremony in Kyoto early November 10 as it unfolded across the Internet. The elegant hall, music, and flowers all created an ambiance to reflect this special event. For us the experience was an interesting study in contrasts with the traditional Japanese music and dress being complimented by the latest technology that enabled us to watch the ceremony as it happened with color still images every 15 to 60 seconds and a continuous sound feed that crackled in a muffled way much like an early short wave radio. We watched from home on a laptop computer with data pouring through the Internet and over the slow telephone line to our house. The gold medal and purple ribbon were an impressive sight even half way around the world! The Royal Prince and Princess added an element of tradition impossible in this country while we joined in spirit with President Bill Clinton's "delight to congratulate Willard Van Orman Quine" on an intellectual life dedicated to the betterment of humanity. We were pleased to hear the acceptance speech and see early family photographs as a life of research was recognized in a very special setting. The beautiful children's choir and symphony provided a fitting closing. - Doug (son)
    • Willard Van Orman Quine Kyoto Workshop commentary



Quine in (and on) dictionaries

Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE)

DARE is a multi-year project of the late Professor Frederic Cassidy - a close friend of Quine since high school days. The first four (of 5) volumes have been published. They are a wonderful source of information about the regional differences in English across the United States. This continuing monumental effort of research and documentation has been a passion of Quine's. Memorial gifts to help complete the work may be made to DARE / University of Wisconsin Foundation, 1848 University Avenue, P.O. Box 8860, Madison, WI 53708

"Quinean" is a word in the Oxford English Dictionary, Supplement, 1987

  • Quinean - adj. "Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Willard Van Orman Quine or his theories"

"quine" is a word in the The Philosophical Lexicon, eighth edition: 1987, Daniel Dennett (editor), American Philosophical Association, 18 pages

  • quine - v. "(1) To deny resolutely the existence or importance of something real or significant. "Some philosophers have quined classes, and some have even quined physical objects." Occasionally used intransitively, e.g., "You think I quine, sir. I assure you I do not!" (2) n. The total aggregate sensory surface of the world; hence quinitis, irritation of the quine."

"Quine" is a word in The New Hackers Dictionary (version 4.3.1)

  • quine /kwi:n/ [from the name of the logician Willard V. Quine, via Douglas Hofstadter] - n. A program that generates a copy of its own source text as its complete output. Devising the shortest possible quine in some given programming language is a common hackish amusement. Here is one classic quine (of several at the web site):
      ((lambda (x)
      (list x (list (quote quote) x)))
      (lambda (x)
      (list x (list (quote quote) x)))))

    This one works in LISP or Scheme. It's relatively easy to write quines in other languages such as Postscript which readily handle programs as data; much harder (and thus more challenging!) in languages like C which do not.. Some infamous Obfuscated C Contest entries have been quines that reproduced in exotic ways.

W. V. Quine's Ph.D. students - chronological list

Compiled by Charles Parsons and Ti-Grace Atkinson at Harvard University, updated September 19, 2002. (Names in parentheses are the other names on the acceptance certificate; indented details obtained from various sources.) Additions and corrections are welcomed: please E-Mail webmaster: [webmaster]
  • 1940, Leigh D. Steinhardt - later Leigh S. Cauman (Charles Morris)
    • Leigh Steinhardt Cauman was Managing Editor of The Journal of Philosophy from 1960 until her retirement in 1987. She combined this position with teaching logic at the School of General Studies at Columbia University.
  • 1942, George D. W. Berry (H. M. Sheffer)
    • George D. W. Berry taught at Princeton University then at Boston University.
  • 1948, Henry Hiz (C. I. Lewis)
    • Henry Hiz began the study of logic in Poland before the war and probably continued his studies during the war through underground arrangements. He taught at Pennsylvania State University and around 1961 joined the Department of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, where he remained until his retirement in 1988. His work applied logical methods to the study of language, in particular semantics.
  • 1948, Hugues Leblanc (Sheffer)
    • Hugues Leblanc came to Harvard from Quebec. He taught at Bryn Mawr College from 1948 to 1997 and at Temple University from then until his retirement in 1992. He died in 1999. He had a large body of work in areas of logic related to philosophy. An account of his life and work appears in the Bulletin of Symbolic Logic, vol. 6 (2000), pp. 230-231.
  • 1948, Hao Wang (C. I. Lewis)
    • Hao Wang was born in China and came to Harvard after having studied mathematics and philosophy there. He was a Junior Fellow (1948-51), then taught at Harvard and Oxford before returning to Harvard as Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Logic in 1961. In 1966 he moved to the Rockefeller University in New York, first as a visitor, where he remained until he retired in 1991. He died in 1995. He was a prolific writer, author of several books and many papers in mathematical logic, computer science, and philosophy. An account of his life and work appears in the Bulletin of Symbolic Logic, vol. 2 (1996), pp. 108-111. The Hao Wang bibliography appears in Philosophia Mathematica (3) 6 (1998), 25-38.
  • 1949, John R. Myhill (L. H. Loomis (mathematics); Myhill acknowledges substantial assistance of Frederic B. Fitch (Yale University), who was not on the committee.)
    • John Myhill taught at several places, including the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University, before becoming professor of mathematics at the State University of New York at Buffalo in the mid-1960s. He remained there until his death in about 1984. His work was largely in mathematical logic, especially recursion theory.
  • 1950, Bradford Dunham (Sheffer)
    • Bradford Dunham worked in the research laboratories of IBM, ultimately at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N. Y. He died about 1990.
  • 1951, William Craig (Nelson Goodman, visitor)
    • William Craig taught at Pennsylvania State University and then in the philosophy department at the University of California, Berkeley, where he retired ten or more years ago. He is known for some basic results in theoretical logic, particularly the "interpolation lemma". His later work was largely in algebraic logic.
  • 1951, Robert L. Stanley (Sheffer)
    • Robert L. Stanley taught in the mathematics department of Portland State University and published papers in logic.
  • 1957, Joseph S. Ullian (Burton Dreben, Morton White, Hartley Rogers, Jr.)
    • Ullian wrote Parsons and Atkinson that the thesis was begun with Quine and that White was a replacement while Quine was on leave at Princeton in 1956-57. He states that Rogers was in practice the principal advisor.
    • Joseph S. Ullian was a Harvard undergraduate (1952). After his Ph. D. he taught at Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, before settling at Washington University, St. Louis, where he is Professor of Philosophy. His publications include collaboration with Quine on The Web of Belief and with Nelson Goodman on several articles.
  • 1961, Dagfinn K. Føllesdal (N. L. Wilson, visitor)
    • Professor Dagfinn Føllesdal studied mathematics, astronomy and mechanics at the University of Oslo and mathematics at the University of Göttingen and worked for two years in ionospheric physics before starting his studies for a Ph.D. at Harvard. After his Ph.D. in 1961 he taught at Harvard from 1961 to 1964 and then returned to Oslo on a research fellowship and became Professor of Philosophy there in 1967. In 1968 he began a parallel appointment at Stanford University where he has been C.I. Lewis Professor of Philosophy since 1976. He retired in Oslo in 1999 but continues at Stanford. Føllesdal's research interests are in the philosophy of language, philosophy of Edmund Husserl, and phenomenology, with side interests in the philosophy of science, philosophy of action and ethics.... Publications: Written and edited 16 books and special issues of journals and around 100 articles. Editor, The Journal of Symbolic Logic, 1970-82.... Selected works: "Quine on modality", Donald Davidson and Jaakko Hintikka, eds., Words and Objections: Essays on the Work of W. V. Quine, Dordrecht: Reidel, 1968, 175-85. In 2001, he was the editor of Philosophy of Quine (Five Volume Set of reprinted articles and reviews on Quine) - view the full table of contents at WVQ table of contents.
  • 1961, Charles D. Parsons (Burton Dreben was the principal advisor)
    • Charles Parsons was also a Harvard undergraduate (1954), as well as a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows (1958-61). He taught briefly at Cornell and Harvard and then joined the philosophy department at Columbia University in 1965, where he remained until 1989. Then he returned to Harvard and is now Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy. His thesis and much of his early work were in proof theory. He has written on philosophy of logic and mathematics, on Kant, and on some other historical figures. He is an editor of the posthumous works of Kurt Gödel.
  • 1963, Gilbert H. Harman (Roderick Firth, Donald C. Williams)
    • Gilbert Harman has spent his entire career since leaving graduate school at Princeton University, where he is Professor of Philosophy. His publications are on philosophy of language, epistemology, and the foundations of ethics.
  • 1967, David K. Lewis (Hilary Putnam)
    • David Lewis was at Princeton from 1970 on, after teaching at UCLA. He has a very large body of publications in many areas of philosophy. He has developed a distinctive realistic point of view, in which his realism extends to modality by incorporating possible worlds. He died in October 2001.
  • 1969, Gail Caldwell Stine (Burton Dreben)
    • Gail Caldwell Stine taught at Wayne State University. She died in December 1977 at the age of 37.
  • 1970, Norman Daniels, 1970 (Hilary Putnam was the main advisor; Quine was the second reader)
    • After many years at Tufts University, Daniels recently become professor at the Harvard School of Public Health
  • 1972, Michael J. Devitt (Robert Nozick)
    • Michael Devitt is Australian and after leaving Harvard returned to the University of Sydney until he became Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland in the 1980's. In 1999 he became Executive Officer of the Ph. D. Program in Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His publications, including several books, are in philosophy of language and mind.
  • 1973, Frank W. Thompson (Hilary Putnam)
    • Frank Thompson taught philosophy at Indiana University and then moved into economics. He is now Lecturer in Economics at the University of Michigan.

W. V. Quine's undergraduate students - (partial) alphabetical list

Additions and corrections are welcomed: please E-Mail webmaster: [webmaster]
  • Professor Donald Davidson, one of the most significant philosophers of the XX century, was born March 6, 1917 in Springfield, Massachusetts and died August 30, 2003 in California. He studied English, Comparative Literature and Classics in his undergraduate years at Harvard. In his sophomore year at Harvard, Davidson attended two classes that made a lasting impression on him. These two classes on philosophy were taught by Alfred North Whitehead in the last year of his career. Davidson was then accepted to graduate studies in philosophy at Harvard, where his teacher was Willard Van Orman Quine. Quine set Davidson on a course in philosophy quite different from that of Whitehead. Subsequently, Davidson did his dissertation on Plato's Philebus..... Philosophy of Donald Davidson, 1999 (at a discount from Amazon.com)
  • Professor Daniel C. Dennett, the author of Darwin's Dangerous Idea (Simon & Schuster, 1995), is Distinguished Arts and Sciences Professor, Professor of Philosophy, and Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He received his B.A. in philosophy from Harvard in 1963. He then went to Oxford to work with Gilbert Ryle, under whose supervision he completed the D.Phil. in philosophy in 1965. He taught at U.C. Irvine from 1965 to 1971, when he moved to Tufts, where he has taught ever since, aside from periods visiting at Harvard, Pittsburgh, Oxford, and the Ecole Normal Superieur in Paris.
  • Professor Burton Dreben taught at Harvard University from 1956 to 1990, and was the Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy from 1981 to 1990 (and Edgar Pierce Professor Emeritus until 1999). He has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a Fulbright Fellowship (at Oxford University), a Junior Fellowship (Harvard University), and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He also delivered the Sherman Lectures, University College, London; the Lovejoy Lecture, John Hopkins University; the Skolem Memorial Lectures, University of Oslo; the Brian O'Neil Memorial Lectures, University of New Mexico; and was Special Lecturer at the University of Western Ontario as well as the University of California at Berkeley.....
  • Tom Lehrer the man, his myth and his music? by Odell Sneeden Hathaway, III (Copyright, 1992) In this report I will introduce the reader to Tom Lehrer, mathematician and songwriter. First the man. Where did he come from, who was he, what did he do and were is he now. Next we will look at Tom Lehrer the myth, we will look at the effect Dr. Lehrer had on the genre of satire and though satire on the world and at some of the stories that have sprung up concerning Dr. Lehrer. Finally, we will look at Dr. Lehrer's music. Thomas Andrew Lehrer: Born in New York City in 1928, as a child took piano lessons, at the age of 15 entered Harvard University where he majored in mathematics. At the same time, he began writing and performing sarcastic little ditties and parodies. This made him a popular fixture at Harvard parties. Especially freshman smokers. He received his BA in 1947 (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa).....
  • Theodore Kaczynski (aka the unabomber)


Quine's cartography logo

Q3 - Quine Quotation Queries

(please e-mail the webmaster: [webmaster] with answers to the unanswered questions)
  1. MH asks (Feb 25 1997): what tastes like chicken?
    see the story in the 1951 Furioso - it is a shame to give away the punch line of Quine's only fictional work - DBQ

  2. LB asks (Feb 16, 2001): where did Quine write No entity without identity
    the book Ontological relativity and other essays, p. 23
    the book Theories and Things, p. 102
    the book From Stimulus to Science, p. 75

  3. L asks (June 17, 2000): where did Quine write Life is what the least of us make most of us feel the least of us make the most of
    see next entry

  4. SP asks (Feb 19 2001): where did Quine write Life is a burgeoning, life is a quickening
    actually both of the above quotes are part of a longer text: Life is agid, life is fulgid. Life is what the least of us make most of us feel the least of us make the most of. Life is a burgeoning, a quickening of the dim primordial urge in the murky wastes of time.
    First observed in Quine's writing log in November 1946, (possibly) published in Quine's Methods of Logic, and published in The Meaning of Life: According To Our Century's Greatest Writers and Thinkers., Hugh S. Morehead (editor), pp. 154 - 155 (handwritten and printed versions)] - DBQ

  5. AH asks (Feb 14, 1999): where did Quine write There is nothing more basic to thought and language than our sense of similarity; our sorting of things into kinds
    According to "http://divcom.otago.ac.nz/SIRC/GeoComp/GeoComp98/17/gc_17.htm" it was Kant, not W.V. Quine - JQB

  6. MJ asks (Apr 15, 2002): where did Quine write To be is to be the value of a bound variable?
    On What There Is page 15 in From A Logical Point of View. Russell Marcus wrote (July 18, 2005) to say that this criterion was also discussed in both: Quine, W.V.O. 1939a. "Designation and Existence." Reprinted in Feigl and Sellars (1949) and in Quine, W.V.O. 1939b. "A Logistical Approach to the Ontological Problem." Reprinted in The Ways of Paradox.

  7. RG says (July 13, 2002) Quine's famous quote: Logic chases truth up the tree of grammar
    is in Philosophy of Logic

  8. RG (and others) asked (July 13, 2002): where did Quine write Philosophy of Science is Philosophy Enough
    Mr. Strawson on Logical Theory page 151 in The Ways of Paradox (rev. and enlarged ed.) (originally pub. in Mind. 1953). The full sentence is: Such solutions are good just to the extent that (a) philosophy of science is philosophy enough and (b) the refashioned underpinnings of science do not engender new philosophical problems of their own. (thanks to Roger Gibson, May 26, 2003)

  9. JE asks (Oct 26, 2002): where did Quine use the phrase "slum of possibles"?
    in the essay On What There Is (on page 4) which was originally published in Review of Metaphysics in 1948. It is most commonly accessed through the popular book of essays entitled From A Logical Point of View - DBQ. The full sentence is Wyman's slum of possibles is a breeding ground for disorderly elements.

  10. JLG asks (December 8, 2003 - question #331 in WVQ guestbook): Where does Quine say, "I espouse a more thorough-going pragmatism."?
    in the essay Two Dogmas of Empiricism which was originally published in Philosophical Review (January 1951), 60(1): 20-43. It is most commonly accessed through the popular book of essays entitled From a Logical Point of View) (quote on page 46) - DBQ. The actual full sentence is In repudiating such a boundary I espouse a more thorough pragmatism. - thanks to David for the answer.

  11. (July 18, 2005) Where does Quine say, "To call a posit a posit is not to patronize it."
    Russell Marus reports that it is found in Word and Object page 22, section 6

  12. TB asks (August 22, 2005 - question #334 in WVQ guestbook): Where does Quine say, ""... the Web, all our beliefs are justified by all our beliefs, they are connected by an explanatory network..."."?
    Two other people were seeking the same answer through Google more than a year ago. The broader context appears to be:
    In the web, all our beliefs are justified by all our other beliefs, they are connected by an explanatory network, and changes in one place can require changes elsewhere. Thus all belief is connected to observation in the world. Are any beliefs immune from this process? Some beliefs do not depend on observation for their justification, in fact no observation whatever could show them to be wrong. Beliefs of this type are said to count as a-priori knowledge: Their justification is independent of experience, a-priori knowledge is contrasted with empirical knowledge which does depend on observation for its justification.
    according to http://www.answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=353409 and http://www.quotationspage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2050&sid=a326cacd4a61b375f5276192f341545e


Citations of W. V. Quine in Patents
------------ (please e-mail the webmaster: [webmaster] any missing patent citations)

  • US Patent # 5,115,504 - Edward J. Belove, Todd R. Drake; S. Jerrold Kaplan, Mitchell D. Kapor, Richard A. Landsman, and Stephen Zagieboylo (Lotus Development Corporation): " Information management system" (May 19, 1992)
    • Quine, W. V. "Indeterminacy of Translation Again", The Journal of Philosophy, vol. 84, No. 1, Jan. 1987.
  • US Patent #5,659,775 - Alexander Stein and William Grundmann (Digital Equipment Corporation): "Topology independent system for state element conversion" (August 19, 1997)
    • W.V. Quine, "The Problem of Simplifying Truth Functions", Am. Math Monthly, vol. 59, No 8 (Oct. 1952) 521-31.
  • US Patent # 6,665,664 - Glenn Norman Paulley and Kristofer Paul Vorwerk (Sybase, Inc): "Prime implicates and query optimization in relational databases" (December 16, 2003)
    • Quine, W. V., On Cores and Prime Implicants of Truth Functions, American Mathematics Monthly, 66: 755-760, 1959.
    • Quine, W. V., A Way to Simplify Truth Functions, American Mathematics Monthly, 62: 627-631, 1955.
    • Quine, W. V., The Problem of Simplifying Truth Functions, American Mathematics Monthly, 59: 521-531, 1952.

W. V. Quine Family Genealogy

W. V. Quine Web Page Review

  • Review of this W. V. Quine web page appeared in Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers Volume 97, Number 1 (Fall 1997) of the APA Newsletters. Reviewed by: William J. Rapaport, Department of Philosophy and Center for Cognitive Science, State University of New York at Buffalo. Suppose you wanted to find some information on the Web about a philosopher. You might begin by trying to find his or her home page, if it exists. This can be done most efficiently using "Ahoy! The Home page Finder". Failing that, you might try using a search engine, say, "Yahoo! Arts: Humanities: Philosophy: Philosophers". For Willard Van Orman Quine, neither of these options yields much useful information. Alternatively, you might use many search engines to find as many pages as you can that discuss Quine, and then save links to them. One way to do this easily is via the "go2net MetaCrawler"; a search on the phrase "Willard Van Orman Quine" yielded many sites, including the one under review. This is apparently the idea behind "Willard Van Orman Quine", set up by his son, Douglas Boynton Quine. What he seems to have done is to search the Web for any and all pages that discuss Quine and put them on his Quine home page along with other material that a Quine afficianado might find interesting, including some items that only he would have access to....