Saturday, October 8, 2011

Quine on bunnies

Time for some bunny-fun  with our favoritemost ontological leporiphile -- Mr. Willard Van Orman Quine !!!

The sensible materiality of the rabbit was inessential to the example, since the prime numbers between 10 and 20  sustained the same point.
-- W.V.O.Q., “Existence and Quantification”

HMMmmmm..... !   !!
Point taken;  but the prime numbers abovementioned   are not nearly so cute and furry.

…undetached rabbit-part…
-- W.V.O.Q.,  passim.

Well we would hope so ! ! !

-- W.V.O.Q., Word and Object

You da man !

[For more wholesome Quinefun, click here.]
[If you'd like to see a really big bunny, click here!  It depicts Quine furioso  putting ontological sybarites to flight.]

I took logic from Quine in college.  He is a brilliant and witty writer, but in person -- at least with the undergraduates -- a singularly humorless and ponderous man.  (Randy Allen Harris refers to him, with irrefutable finality, as The Venerable Quine.)  I even suspect he didn't really like bunnies very much himself.  Whether the rabbit parts in question were detached or undetached  was, one suspects, a matter of ontological indifference to the great professor:  for, as Quine has demonstrated, in either case  the animal could be considered, like the world's sum of water, as "a single scattered whole".  Or, phrasing the matter with precision:  An intact rabbit, and a shmushed rabbit, can be safely interchanged salve veritate.]

The illustration above pretty much captures his aspect  as he made his way across the Yard.]

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