Top 12 Willard Van Orman Quine Quotes

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“To be is to be the value of a variable.”

― Willard Van Orman Quine

“Language is conceived in sin and science is its redemption.”

― Willard Van Orman Quine

“Uncritical semantics is the myth of a museum in which the exhibits are meanings and the words are labels. To switch languages is to change the labels.”

― Willard Van Orman Quine

“One man’s observation is another man’s closed book or flight of fancy.”

― Willard Van Orman Quine

“Language is a social art.”

― Willard Van Orman Quine

“’Ouch’ is not independent of social training. One has only to prick a foreigner to appreciate that it is an English word.”

― Willard Van Orman Quine

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

― 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

“We do not learn first what to talk about and then what to say about it.”

― Willard Van Orman Quine

“Confusion of sign and object is original sin coeval with the word.”

― 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

“Meaning is what essence becomes when it is divorced from the object of reference and wedded to the word.”

― Willard Van Orman Quine
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