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Quiddities: An Intermittently Philosophical Dictionary

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  77 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
The appellation "polymath" is often lightly bestowed, but it can be applied with confidence to the celebrated philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine. Quine's areas of interest are panoramic, as this lively book amply demonstrates.

Moving from A (alphabet) to Z (zero), Quiddities roams through more than eighty topics, each providing a full measure of piquant thought, wordplay,
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Paperback, 249 pages
Published March 15th 1989 by Belknap Press (first published March 15th 1987)
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Samuel Chen
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
neat
Jill
Oct 05, 2011 rated it liked it
I didn't love this like my colleague in the next office did, but it was enjoyable. Unlike Quine's other writings, and most philosophy, it's light and easy to read, which is both a relief and a detriment.

The biggest lesson I take from this book is that I need to clean up my diction and usage, lest well-educated folks like Quine (and my office neighbor) learn of my low upbringing. I should learn to be properly ashamed.
Ondrej Havlicek
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Enlightening and fun to read, not many authors master this combination!
Intro/summary of some fundamental concepts as well as lesser-known curiosities in the fields of analytic philosophy, language (incl. a lot of etymology), mind, logic, mathematics etc.
Some basic knowledge in these areas is certainly useful to get more out of it, although probably not entirely necessary.
Taymaz Azimi
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
The content of every single entry reminded me of a smooth and casual thought about a philosophical matter. The entries are written in a very accessible language and the book would probably be the best to pick and open randomly to a page in your spare time.
Erik Cameron
Apr 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: miscellaneous
Wonderful stuff. Random thoughts on topics ranging from euphemism to set theory.
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"Willard Van Orman Quine (June 25, 1908 Akron, Ohio – December 25, 2000) (known to intimates as "Van"), was an American analytic philosopher and logician. From 1930 until his death 70 years later, Quine was affiliated in some way with Harvard University, first as a student, then as a professor of philosophy and a teacher of mathematics, and finally as an emeritus elder statesman who published or r ...more
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