Chapter

Could There Be a Science of Rationality?

Donald Davidson

in Problems of Rationality

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780198237549
Published online August 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601378 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198237545.003.0008
Could There Be a Science of Rationality?

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Asks whether there could be a science of rationality, and proposes as an answer — Davidson's own Unified Theory of speech and action, drawing heavily on formal decision theories for explaining intentional action laid out by Ramsey and Jeffrey, but expanding their theories by adding a theory of meaning. This method of radical interpretation interprets this Unified Theory empirically, which justifies the label ‘science of rationality’. In the remainder of the chapter, the author answers the criticisms levelled by Fodor and Chomsky that target Davidson's particular way of interpreting the Unified Theory empirically.

Keywords: action; Noam Chomsky; decision theory; Jerry Fodor; radical interpretation; Frank Ramsey; rationality; Richard Jeffrey; science; speech; Unified Theory

Chapter.  7830 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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