Chapter

The Impossibility of Alternative Conceptual Schemes

Ernie Lepore and Kirk Ludwig

in Donald Davidson

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199251346
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602634 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199251347.003.0020
 The Impossibility of Alternative Conceptual Schemes

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Begins part III of the book, which examines theses that Davidson has aimed to found on reflection on radical interpretation, and also arguments that aim to establish a priori the possibility of radical interpretation. Explains and criticizes Davidson’s argument against the possibility of radically different conceptual schemes. Examines two metaphors of conceptual relativity, the idea that different schemes organize reality differently, or that they fit it differently. The former is ruled out because it requires a common subject matter. The latter Davidson rejects because he claims that it conflicts with our best intuition about truth as embodied in Traski’s Convention T, which Davidson claims requires us to think that other languages which contain true theories are translatable into our own. We argue that this does not follow from Tarski’s insight, and offer a different though limited defence of the claim that there cannot be radically different conceptual schemes.

Keywords: conceptual relativity; conceptual schemes; error; translation

Chapter.  7630 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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