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After holding fellowships for study in Europe and after being a member of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University from tohe began his teaching service at Harvard University. During the present year he is a member of the Institute of Advanced Study. Among the numerous honors and recognitions his professional colleagues have bestowed upon him are the Presidency of the Association of Symbolic Logic, and the Presidency of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association.
In Oberlin College conferred upon him a doctorate of literature. Besides being a co-author of three books, the author of numerous papers in professional journals, many of which have had more impact upon scholarship in philosophy and logic than most books, Professor Quine has written five books and has two more in progress.
Professor Quine's creative work has earned him world-wide recognition as the successor of Frege, Whitehead, and Russell in a period of logical discovery and development never before equalled in the history of philosophy.
Like his worthy predecessors, Professor Quine has sought an integration of mathematical logic and certain related metaphysical themes in philosophy.
His many books and articles testify to his brilliant synthesizing spirit of logic and philosophy which represents one of the foremost intellectual movements in our day.
In recognition of his scholarship in the field of logic and for his contributions to the literature of philosophy, I now present Willard Van Orman Quine for the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws. Distinguished for his contributions to mathematical logic, Professor Quine has achieved new standards of clarity and rigor in philosophical reasoning.
His formulation of the problem of ontic commitment in the terms of quantificational logic has given philosophy a new locus for the examination of ontological issues.
Through his penetrating analyses of analyticity, synonyomy, propositional attitudes and other fundamental concepts he has brought philosophers of all convictions to a critical re-examination of their basic principles.
In recognition of his outstanding service to philosophy, Mr. Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; June LittD by Sidney Axinn - In a moment of world history when man too rarely reflects upon the tumultous events of this Twentieth Century, he has contributed immensely towards the understanding of man and his condition.
A distinguished scholar and writer in the field of philosophical studies, he has earned pre-eminence in the study of philosophy of logic throughout forty years of dedication to teaching, research, and writing. I am privileged and pleased to present a distinguished colleague for the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature Oxford University, Oxford, England; June DLitt [citation translated from Latin and Greek; click on image enlarged] Livy reports thatr Attus Navius cut a whetstone in half with a razor; a sharper razor of the spirit, however, was invented by William of Ockham, the 'invincible doctor', and though only as an 'inceptor', not a Master, he honed it here in Oxford.
The cutting-edge of logic has been tempered anew in our time, and our guest to-day has taken possession of the instrument to shave off every abstraction as though it were an infection.
He is a new 'nominalist' who rejects universals. He even attempts the Shaving of Plato, although Plato would have greatly approved of one so far from 'innocent of geometry', a skilled dialectician and pursuer of mathematical reasoning.
As natural scenery, it is not verdant vales, banked with rustling boskage, that delight him, but desert landscapes. So too in philosophy he would have things plain and solid, no suggestion of 'more things than are drempt of'. For him, being is not to be perceived or to be thought, but to be the value of a variable.
However he allows that some entities should be multiplied, his own books for instance from A System of Logic,to nos. When he is your guest, do not apply Ockam's razor; he is not a water drinker. He writes copiously, at once like an angel and like an American, with a Roman ruthlessness, a patrician elegance, and the subtlety of Zeno.
His origins are Dutch and Isle of Man where by way of etymology, his name means son of John, McIanand his birthplace, Akron, Ohio, provides an omen, like Sappho's apple, 'top of the topmost, and the applepickers have forgotten it; no, not forgotten, but they could not reach it. Professor Quine, like Parmenides of old, has so successfully triumphed over the thorny problems of logic that he can express in ordinary language ideas of great complexity.
I admit him to the degree of Doctor of Letters. Cambridge University, Cambridge, England; June LittD [citation translated from Latin; click on image to enlarge] Complaining of the limitations of the traditional language will get me nowhere.
But even Cicero's pen, I think, might drag if he had to deal with the topics of modern philosophy, which so often appear to be involved with the meaning and distinction of words that someone has wittily said that nowadays ontology recapitulates philology.
But the man himself, whom we now desire to honour, we can outline without obscurity. It is generally agreed that he is one of the most eminent philosophers of his time, in interests and methods a true successor of the great Bertrand Russell; and that his influence has never depended solely upon his own adherents.
As a young man he observed Plato's injunction, Non-mathematicians keep out and after taking his degree in mathematics at Oberlin College devoted himself to logic under the most celebrated masters both of his own country and of Europe.
That technique he has applied with such great finesse in other departments of philosophy that where his predecessors have distinguished various classes of propositions of which those of mathematics are given pride of place while those of metaphysics are regarded as worthless he stresses the unity of science and metaphysics.
The appeal of his teaching owes much to the elegance of his style, and to the terse and deceptively simple and proverbial quality of his maxims, scarcely to be imitated even in Latin without some inquination of the language: As in language he reckons that the jungle should be cut back, so too as a keen traveller he is said to be especially fond of those parts of Mexico which others find distasteful and inhospitable deserts.
He has an easy control of foreign languages, and has himself written books in Portuguese. But he teaches that nothing can be translated into another language without some indeterminancy of meaning; that if you are reading this speech in English you cannot know whether I am talking about the man himself, about his sundry parts, or about the universal, Quinehood.
Beyond philosophical dispute a great logician who has left a lasting imprint on his field; within our special compass a friendly teacher, a colleague of generous heart.
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European History & Its Impact on the World. Updated April JUMP TO A.P. History, National History Day & WAYBACK MACHINE / Europe Today / Revolutions / Primary Documents. Maps, Flags, Timelines / Vikings / Barbarians / Pirates. Absolutism / Nationalism, Imperialism, & Anarchism /.
The Thirty & Seven Years Wars / Military History & War.