Ontological Relativity reconsidered: Quine on Löwenheim-Skolem, Davidson on Quine

Hrachovec, Herbert (2005) Ontological Relativity reconsidered: Quine on Löwenheim-Skolem, Davidson on Quine. Teorema. Revista international de filosofia, XXIV (2). pp. 5-15.

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Abstract

In view of the dramatic contrast between speculative thought dressed in fashionable jargon and Quine's sober accounts of the scientific status quo it might seem frivolous even to suggest that his work exhibits a postmodern touch. The present paper will, nevertheless, focus on Quine's usage of the Löwenheim-Skolem theorems as a prominent example of ontological relativity and will attempt to show that Quine's treatment is unattractive to philosophers of mathematics and -- more generally -- untenable within the very methodology arising from Quine's basic approach. After examining the doctrine of relativity as applied to the Löwenheim-Skolem result two recent reflections on it's theoretical impact will be discussed. Those contributions make a strong case against the kind of attitude exemplified by Quine, but they do not address the general issue of how to deal with relativism. Donald Davidson has provided a remarkably attractive strategy to counter relativistic moves. Stripping away postmodernist pretensions this strategy challenges the peculiar Quinean mix of methodological austerity and anti-foundationalism.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Logik, analytische Philosophie
Philosophie > Philosophische Institutionen > Institut für Philosophie, Wien
Philosophie > Geschichte der Philosophie > g) 20.Jahrhundert
Depositing User: Sissi Kemp
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2005
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2013 20:16
URI: http://sammelpunkt.philo.at/id/eprint/1078

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