Saturday, March 08, 2008

A note on Quine

In response to some conversations, class, and a few comments over at Greg's, I read most of Quine's Philosophy of Logic. It turns out that Quine is very much a truth-before-consequence philosopher. What is really surprising is how little the notion of consequence figures into Quine's book. The index on the edition I have doesn't even have an entry for consequence. I don't remember any discussion of consequence coming up during the course of reading. In the discussion of deviant logics, Quine only talks about different logical truths, nothing about differing consequence relations. Just from reading his book you'd get the idea that logical consequence wasn't much of a topic, let alone a central one to the idea of logic.

1 comment:

Stefan said...

I guess Quine is kind of a paradigm example of a truth-before-consequence-logician. In the preface to his Philosophy of Logic, he even characterizes logic as "the systematic study of logical truths" (p. vii) I also guess, that this view supports his criticism of the linguistic doctrine of logical truth. Logic is, in his eyes, just another class of true sentences, not qualitiatively distinguishable from others.