Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Quine PHIL4062

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

An examination of the philosophy of WV Quine, including: Formative influences (Russell, Carnap, Tarski); his early, middle and late periods; his principal works.


14 x 1hr lectures; 6 x 1hr seminars as scheduled on MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in Philosophy and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Successful completion of Junior Honours in Philosophy, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Exam 'Seen Paper' (90 minutes) - 40%

Essay (2000 words) - 40%

Short written piece (1000 words) - 20%

Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Provide the student with an understanding of the work of WV Quine

■ Relate Quine to the outstanding themes of analytic philosophy

■ Foster awareness of the development of analytic philosophy

■ Enable the student critically to assess some key features of contemporary, orthodox analytic philosophy

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Explain the rise of Quine's philosophy from Russell's and Carnap's philosophy.

■  Explain and criticise Quine's extensionalism or anti-intensionalism (for example, his dismissal of possible worlds and meaning).

■ Articulate the thesis of naturalism in Quine, and contrast it with recent alternatives to it.

■ Explain and criticise Quine's ontological doctrines.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.