W V Quine Video Series

The late Willard Van Orman Quine was described as "the greatest living English-speaking philosopher" and "the most influential American philosopher of the postwar period". In this series, Professor Quine takes part in an in-depth personal interview with Rudolf Fara from the London School of Economics, and a penetrating analysis of his life's work in six panel discussions. Quine's most important theses are explored and he defends his views against the major criticisms to bring his position right up-to-date. The resulting comprehensive, archival documentary will provide a wealth of original material for research students and faculty alike, as well as a fundamental resource for courses and seminars. The series contains seven VHS videos and a Series Guide which includes an outline of each program suitable for photocopying as handouts

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Fara Interview

In this biographical sketch, Quine talks to Rudolf Fara about family influences and his introduction to philosophy; college years at Oberlin; graduate study at Harvard under Whitehead and his meeting with Russell; his exposure to the Vienna Circle and study with Carnap; study of logic in Warsaw. He offers advice to students and articulates his likes, dislikes and the question he would most like answered. 90 minutes

Dennett Panel

Daniel Dennett is the guest panelist in this discussion which includes: Quine's scepticism about meaning; denial of strict boundaries between philosophy and science; his naturalistic approach to epistemology and to moral values; his doctrine of the inscrutability of reference. Quine also comments on some of the current trends and preoccupations in philosophy.126 minutes

Goldfarb Panel

Warren Goldfarb joins the panel to consider Quine's involvement with the Vienna Circle. Differences with Carnap, the declaration by the logical empiricists of the meaninglessness of metaphysics and the demarcation of science from pseudo-science, are discussed to set the stage for the development of Quine's naturalism and empiricism. After several questions about the famous "two dogmas", the panel next focuses on Quine's pragmatism, extensionalism and his theory of ontological relativity. 100 minutes

Fogelin Panel

Robert Fogelin from Dartmouth College guests in this discussion on Quine's epistemology: holism, naturalized epistemology, scepticism and the underdetermination of theory by data. Some questions considered are: Are there epistemological norms? Is it a task of epistemology to identify them? 98 minutes

Boolos Panel

George Boolos leads the panel to consider some of the major Quineian theses: his objections to the analytic/synthetic distinction, meaning scepticism, inscrutability of reference, indeterminacy of translation, holism and his differences with Chomsky. 119 minutes

Dreben Panel

Burton Dreben is guest panelist, and George Boolos replaces Paul Horwich, to discuss Quine's views on logic and philosophy of mathematics, including his analysis of the historical development of logic. Quine's stance on metaphysics, ontological commitment and his critique of modal logic is also scrutinized. 90 minutes

Block Panel

Ned Block joins the panel to discuss Quine's views on questions in philosophy of mind, including his position on qualia, introspection and the inverted spectrum hypothesis. Consideration is given to Quine's physicalism, and his attitudes to cognitive science, functionalism, behaviorism, psychology and neuroscience. 111 minutes