Willard Van Orman Quine

1908 (Akron, Ohio) – 2000 (Boston)

Quine was one of the most significant philosophers of the later 20th C. Whitehead supervised his thesis, gave him his first taste of the incomparability of ‘live’ rather than ‘book’ philosophy, and introduced him to his early hero Russell. Further watershed meetings were with Carnap (Quine became his combative disciple and great friend), and Tarski (another great friend). Quine also met Leśniewski and Łukasiewicz in Warsaw, and Gödel and Schlick in Vienna (Wittgenstein never replied). He corresponded with Piaget, Church, Chomsky and Schrödinger, and described his friend Skinner and himself as Harvard’s Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

Willard Van Orman Quine knew…