Seeing Through Language

Donald Davidson

in Truth, Language, and History

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780198237570
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602610 | DOI:
Seeing Through Language

Show Summary Details


This essay argues that while there is an important sense in which we see the world through language, common ways of understanding this metaphor are false. It criticises mentalese, the thesis that there is an inborn ‘language of thought’, and discusses the conditions necessary for creatures to acquire concepts, thoughts and language. The birth of meaning occurs through interpersonal communication about a shared, public world, and depends on the fact that human creatures have shared needs and interests.

Keywords: language; metaphor; meaning; mentalese; communication

Chapter.  6192 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.