Inspirational Willard Van Orman Quine Quotes

Willard Van Orman Quine (June 25, 1908 – December 25, 2000) was an American philosopher and logician. This post features some Inspirational Willard Van Orman Quine Quotes.

He is recognized as “one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century.” He filled the Edgar Pierce Chair of Philosophy at Harvard from 1956 to 1978. A 2009 poll conducted among analytic philosophers named Quine as the fifth most important philosopher of the past two centuries. He won the first Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy in 1993.

Quine falls squarely into the analytic philosophy tradition while also being the main proponent of the view that philosophy is not conceptual analysis but the abstract branch of the empirical sciences.

Willard Van Orman Quine Quotes
Willard Van Orman Quine Quotes

Willard Van Orman Quine Quotes

“Necessity resides in the way we talk about things, not in the things we talk about.”
― Willard Van Orman Quine

“Logic chases truth up the tree of grammar.”
― Willard Van Orman Quine

“Life is what the least of us make the most of us feel the least of us make the most of.”
― Willard Van Orman Quine

“Language is a social art.”
― Willard Van Orman Quine

“Language is conceived in sin and science is its redemption. ”
― Willard Van Orman Quine

“At root what is needed for scientific inquiry is just receptivity to data, skill in reasoning, and yearning for truth. Admittedly, ingenuity can help too.”
Willard Van Orman Quine

“Science is not a substitute for common sense, but an extension of it.”
― Willard Van Orman Quine

“As an empiricist I continue to think of the conceptual scheme of science as a tool, ultimately, for predicting future experience in the light of past experience.”
― Willard Van Orman Quine

“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.”
― Willard Van Orman Quine quotes

“It is within science itself, and not in some prior philosophy, that reality is to be identified and described.”
― Willard Van Orman Quine

“The familiar material objects may not be all that is real, but they are admirable examples.”
― Willard Van Orman Quine

“Physical objects are conceptually imported into the situation as convenient intermediaries not by definition in terms of experience, but simply as irreducible posits comparable, epistemologically, to the gods of Homer . . . For my part I do, qua lay physicist, believe in physical objects and not in Homer’s gods; and I consider it a scientific error to believe otherwise. But in point of epistemological footing, the physical objects and the gods differ only in degree and not in kind. Both sorts of entities enter our conceptions only as cultural posits.”
― Willard Van Orman Quine

“To be is to be the value of a variable.”
― Willard Van Orman Quine

“A curious thing about the ontological problem is its simplicity. It can be put into three Anglo-Saxon monosyllables: ‘What is there?’ It can be answered, moreover, in a word–‘Everything’–and everyone will accept this answer as true.”
― Willard Van Orman Quine

“Physics investigates the essential nature of the world, and biology describes a local bump. Psychology, human psychology, describes a bump on the bump. ”
― Willard Van Orman Quine

“It is one of the consolations of philosophy that the benefit of showing how to dispense with a concept does not hinge on dispensing with it.”
― Willard Van Orman Quine

“The word ‘definition’ has come to have a dangerously reassuring sound, owing no doubt to its frequent occurrence in logical and mathematical writings.”
― Willard Van Orman Quine

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