Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Fine Quine

A CT thread about "the greatest 20th century philosopher" (who may have as much existence as "the present king of France") cited a Quine essay I hadn't read, "On What There Is," which well exhibits Quine's acumen and charm.
However, Wyman, in an ill-conceived effort to appear agreeable, genially grants us the nonexistence of Pegasus and then, contrary to what we meant by nonexistence of Pegasus, insists that Pegasus is. Existence is one thing, he says, and subsistence is another. The only way I know of coping with this obfuscation of issues is to give Wyman the word ‘exist’. I’ll try not to use it again; I still have ‘is’.

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