Mathematician:Willard Van Orman Quine

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Legendary American philosopher and logician, known by his friends as Van.

Proposed three systems of axiomatic set theory.

The word quine was coined by Douglas R. Hofstadter in his classic 1979 work Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, in which what is now known as Quine's Paradox was discussed at length.

The word quine is now used for a computer program whose output is itself.




  • Born: 25 June 1908, Akron, Ohio, USA
  • Died: 25 Dec 2000, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Theorems and Definitions

Definitions of concepts named for Willard Van Orman Quine can be found here.


  • 1934: A System of Logistic
  • 1937: New Foundations for Mathematical Logic
  • 1941: Elementary Logic
  • 1948: On What There Is
  • 1950: Methods of Logic
  • 1951: Two Dogmas of Empiricism
  • 1953: From a Logical Point of View (collection)
  • 1960: Word and Object
  • 1963: Set Theory and Its Logic
  • 1966: Selected Logic Papers
  • 1966: The Ways of Paradox
  • 1969: Ontological Relativity and Other Essays
  • 1970: The Web of Belief (with J.S. Ullian)
  • 1970: The Philosophy of Logic
  • 1971: The Roots of Reference
  • 1985: The Time of My Life: An Autobiography
  • 1987: Quiddities: An Intermittently Philosophical Dictionary
  • 1990: Pursuit of Truth
  • 1995: From Stimulus to Science

Notable Quotes

Philosophy of science is philosophy enough.
Any statement can be held true come what may, if we make drastic enough adjustments elsewhere in the system [of our beliefs]. The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, from the most casual matters of geography and history to the profoundest laws of atomic physics or even of pure mathematics and logic, is a man-made fabric which impinges on experience only along the edges.