Talons Philosophy

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Van Orman Quine~Leon, Tyler, Imtiaz


Van Orman Quine was a frustrating man to understand and his theories were difficult to grasp. Quine in lesser words basically said that it’s hard to find an exact definition of a word, so it becomes impossible to use as a basis for a hypothesis or a theory. Every word has a definition, but the it’s hard to know the exact definition of the word. For example,  a definition of a word is someone’s opinion and everyone’s opinion is unique; therefore there are many types of definitions for every word. The definitions are not correct nor incorrect because its an opinion and opinions vary for every individual. I think Quine meant that science is an opinion, because everyone has a different definition of what science is, even if the definition isn’t necessarily factually true, its still valid. Its an opinion and opinions can be factually false and still valid. So if you were to ask Quine is science objective, he would say no in fact its subjective because everyone has an opinion and the opinion may be very similar to one another, but it will always be different. What Quine basically meant by that is that science is subjective. Science is subjective to the man or woman studying it or learning about it. everyone will have a different experience with science and that will create a different opinion, whether be it a good experience or bad, science will always be subjective.


Willard Van Quine, a professor and student of Harvard University, was considered to be the biggest philosopher in the 20th century. He challenged the thought of science being subjective. “One man’s observation is another man’s closed book or flight of fancy” – William Van Quine. This quote tells everything about William’s thoughts of whether or not science is objective or not. By careful analysis, we can figure out that Quine thinks of science, as well as life, to be based on multiple perspectives. Experiencing something is very different from being vicarious. In the quote above, Quine is trying to say that people have different observations and opinions. These observations are unique to every individual, and there are no same observations. This can be applied to science as well; everybody has a different observation about science. Everything is based on experience, and science is only a fraction of it. Therefore, we can conclude that science is subjective.

Leon’s Blog Opinion

Willard Van Orman Quine was thought to be a negative philosopher, primarily concerned to criticize others. He caused doubts on terms other philosophers take for granted. Quine never thought there was a term that was meaningless but it not worth a place in an objective account of the world. In his work “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” Quine had assaulted scientific objectivity causing the separation between objective science and subjective metaphysics. Even though it was never his intention, Quine forever changed the empirical, determinist, realist, materialist character of Western science and philosophy. To him, there was not objective facts, only linguistic meaning.

All three of our opinions on what Van orman Quine would have said if he was asked the question “is science objective” has one key aspect in common, which is science is subjective. Quine in almost every one of his books and quotes talked about many different things but from his perspective as an atheist philosopher who dedicated his entire life to science he found that science is nothing less than subjective.


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