Language, Thought, and World

Ernie Lepore and Kirk Ludwig

in Donald Davidson

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199251346
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602634 | DOI:
 Language, Thought, and World

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Reviews a number of interconnected arguments concerned with the question whether the third person stance of the radical interpreter is conceptually basic in understanding language. These include Davidson’s argument for the necessity of possessing the concepts of belief, truth, and error for possessing propositional attitudes, the argument from the necessity of language for possessing the concept of error, and the argument from triangulation for the necessity of communication with others to fix what thoughts are about. Argues that the crucial arguments for the necessity of communication for the concept of error and the argument from triangulation fail, and that this undercuts the last hope for an a priori grounding for the assumption that radical interpretation is possible.

Keywords: argument from surprise; concept of belief; concept of error; concept of truth; Davidson’s transcendental argument; third person stance; triangulation

Chapter.  14362 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy

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