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Quiddities

Quiddities

An Intermittently Philosophical Dictionary

W. V. Quine

ISBN 9780674743526

Publication date: 03/15/1989

The appellation “polymath” is often lightly bestowed, but it can be applied with confidence to the celebrated philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine. Quine’s areas of interest are panoramic, as this lively book amply demonstrates.

Moving from A (alphabet) to Z (zero), Quiddities roams through more than eighty topics, each providing a full measure of piquant thought, wordplay, and wisdom, couched in easy and elegant prose—“Quine at his unbuttoned best,” in Donald Davidson’s words. Philosophy, language, and mathematics are the subjects most fully represented; tides of entries include belief, communication, free will, idiotisms, longitude and latitude, marks, prizes, Latin pronunciation, tolerance, trinity. Even the more technical entries are larded with homely lore, anecdote, and whimsical humor.

Quiddities will be a treat for admirers of Quine and for others who like to think, who care about language, and who enjoy the free play of intellect on topics large and small. For this select audience, it is an ideal book for browsing.

Praise

  • A chief pleasure of reading these essays lies in their unexpected connections. A path through the side-alleys of cross-reference in Quiddities draws a revealing map of Mr. Quine’s interests… Few people apart from Mr. Quine could write a sensible and informative essay on Things in two-and-a-half pages.

    —The Economist

Author

  • W. V. Quine was Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University. He wrote twenty-one books, thirteen of them published by Harvard University Press.

Book Details

  • 262 pages
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • Belknap Press

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