<history of philosophy> born in Ohio, Quine (1908-2000) studied at Oberlin College and Harvard University, where he became professor of philosophy in 1936. His contributions to the development of contemporary philosophy often involve subtle modification of the empiricist traditions of pragmatism and logical positivism. In " Two Dogmas of Empricism" (1951), for example, Quine criticized excessive reliance on the analytic/synthetic distinction, maintaining that a whole system of beliefs must be held up for scrutiny in the light of new experience. The other papers collected in From a Logical Point of View (1953) amplify on this suggestion. In the naturalistic mode of Word and Object (1960) Quine proposed the indeterminacy of radical translation, on which a single sentence must always be taken to have more than one different meaning. Author of the textbook Mathematical Logic (1940), Quine applied the techniques of formal reasoning in The Ways of Paradox (1966), and Ontological Relativity (1969), holding that the ontological commitments of any view can be determined by examining the entities over which a formal language expressing it is employed to quantify. More recent expositions of Quine's philosophy appear in The Roots of Reference (1973) and Pursuit of Truth (1990). Although his own positions are commonly naturalistic and physicalistic, Quine's major contribution to contemporary American philosophy has been the consistent application of his analytic methods. Recommended Reading: Primary sources: W.V.O.Quine, From a Logical Point of View: Nine Logico-Philosophical Essays (Harvard, 1980); W.V.O.Quine, Word and Object (MIT, 1964); W.V.O.Quine, The Ways of Paradox, and Other Essays (Harvard, 1976); W.V.O.Quine, Ontological Relativity (Columbia, 1977); W.V.O.Quine, From Stimulus to Science (Harvard, 1998); W.V.O.Quine, Theories and Things (Belknap, 1986); W.V.O.Quine, Pursuit of Truth (Harvard, 1992); W.V.O.Quine, Quiddities: An Intermittently Philosophical Dictionary (Harvard, 1989). Secondary sources: Ilham Dilman, Quine on Ontology, Necessity, and Experience (SUNY, 1984); The Philosophy of W. V. Quine, ed. by Lewis Edwin Hahn and Paul A. Schilpp (Open Court, 1998). Additional on-line information about Quine includes: Douglas Boynton Quine's professional and personal information. Eddie Yeghiayan's bibliography of Quine's writings. C. J. Hookway's article in The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Also see: American philosophy, analytic and synthetic statements, analytic philosophy, existence, Harvard philosophy, intersubjectivity, philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, meaning, opposition to metaphysics, neo-pragmatism, things, 'to be', the verb, and the indeterminacy of translation. The article in the Columbia Encyclopedia at Bartleby.com. The thorough collection of resources at EpistemeLinks.com. Roger Gibson's discussion of Quine's ontology. Nicke Bostrum on Quine's theories of indeterminacy. Snippets from Quine in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. A short article in Oxford's Who's Who in the Twentieth Century. Assessment of Quine's mathematical logic from Mathematical MacTutor. A brief entry in The Macmillan Encyclopedia 2001.
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terminology]
Try this search on OneLook / Google