First Person Authority

Donald Davidson

in Subjective, Intersubjective, Objective

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780198237532
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597312 | DOI:

Series: The Philosophical Essays of Donald Davidson (5 Volumes)

First Person Authority

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Attempts to explain the assumption that a speaker's sincere self‐attribution of propositional attitudes is justified, while such justification is lacking if the attribution is done by somebody else. By tracing the source of first‐person authority, the justification of such self‐attribution, to a necessary feature of language, Davidson offers both an original solution to the authority‐problem and an escape from sceptical solutions to the problem of other minds.

Keywords: first‐person authority; justification; language; necessary features of language; problem of other minds; propositional attitudes; scepticism

Chapter.  4838 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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