more from Otto Neurath

Single Idea 8485

[catalogued under 13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / f. Foundationalism critique]

Full Idea

We are like sailors who must rebuild their ship out on the open sea, never able to dismantle it in a dry-dock and reconstruct it there out of the best materials.

Gist of Idea

We must always rebuild our ship on the open sea; we can't reconstruct it properly in dry-dock


Otto Neurath (Protocol Sentences [1932]), quoted by Alex Orenstein - W.V. Quine Ch.8

Book Reference

Orenstein,Alex: 'W.V. Quine' [Princeton 2002], p.177

A Reaction

This is the classic statement of the anti-foundationalist picture of knowledge. It is often quoted by Quine. A tricky issue. I have a lot of sympathy with Bonjour's rationalist foundationalism.