In Conversation: Willard Van Orman Quine (1994)

In Conversation: Willard Van Orman Quine (6/12)

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Documentary Description

Willard Van Orman Quine, Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, has been described as the greatest living English-speaking philosopher. In this series, he takes part in an in-depth personal interview, and a penetrating analysis of his life's work in six panel discussions with some of today's leading philosophers. In discussions with some of today's leading philosophers. In discussions on his most important theses, Quine defends his views against the major criticisms—past and recent—to bring his position right up-to-date.

The Block Panel

Professor Ned Block is chairman of the philosophy department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He specializes in philosophy of science, philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology and his main area of current study concerns, he says, what we can learn about consciousness from neuropsychology. He has published widely in his fields, and has co-edited with Gerald Dworkin The IQ Controversy. He has written Imagery and edited two volumes of the Readings in Philosophy of Psychology. Ned Block joins the panel to discuss Quine's views on questions in philosophy of mind, including his position on qualia, introspection and the inverted spectrum hypothesis. Consideration is given to Quine's physicalism, and his attitudes to cognitive science, functionalism, behaviorism, psychology and neuroscience.

In this program Professor Quine is questioned about his views on some of the major topics in philosophy of mind. His linguistic behaviorism is carefully examined and compared with programs in linguistics and neuroscience, and his gives his opinions on the field of cognitive science. The program concludes with Quine's views on the topics of mental causation and consciousness. 111 minutes


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