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W&L Professor Paul Gregory Authors Book on Quine’s Naturalism

Paul A. Gregory, associate professor of philosophy at Washington and Lee, has written a book titled Quine’s Naturalism: Language, Theory, and the Knowing Subject (Continuum Studies in American Philosophy), which offers a new interpretation of philosopher W.V. Quine’s views of naturalism.

According to Gregory, “Quine was the most important naturalistic philosopher of the 20th century and a major impetus for the recent resurgence of the view that empirical science is our best avenue to knowledge. His views, however, have not been well understood.”

To help in the understanding of Quine’s views on language, knowledge and reality, Gregory offers new views and interpretations on Quine’s naturalism, while at the same time defending it. Gregory says, “The naturalism/antinaturalism debate can be advanced only by acknowledging and critiquing the substantial theoretical commitments implicit in the traditional view.”

“Paul Gregory has written a wonderfully clear and useful book on Quine’s naturalistic epistemology. Gregory does a fine job of explaining central Quinean doctrines and their interrelationship, as well as providing an illuminating defense of these views against various objections, “ said Professor Hilary Kornblith, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

James E. Mahon, professor of philosophy and chair of W&L’s department of philosophy, commented, “I am delighted that Paul’s book has been published. W.V. Quine is the most important philosopher of the 20th Century after Wittgenstein, I would say, and Paul is an expert on him. Quine’s Naturalism: Language, Theory, and the Knowing Subject is a culmination of Paul’s work over the years, and as a colleague I am very happy for him. He has worked tirelessly for us and our majors, and it is great to see him rewarded.”

Gregory has been a member of the faculty at W&L since 2005 and before that was a visiting professor at W&L from 2002-2005. He received his B.A. from Syracuse University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago.