Chapter

On Davidson’s view of first-person authority

Bruce Aune

in Donald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the Mental

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199697519
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191742316 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199697519.003.0010
On Davidson’s view of first-person authority

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Lepore and Ludwig provide a generally admirable account of Davidson’s views on the topics they address, and they also provide much valuable criticism. But in spite of the many merits of their treatment, this chapter cannot accept some of the things they say about Davidson’s arguments for the authority of first-person psychological reports, nor does it agree with the conclusion they eventually reach—that no explanation is actually possible for this kind of authority. Te paper offeres critical remarks about Davidson’s arguments and Lepore and Ludwig’s comments on them, and concludes with a sketch of an empirically responsible explanation for first-person authority. It is contended that the explanation accords with the spirit, at least, of Davidson’s thought about first-person psychological knowledge. His specific arguments for first-person authority fail, as Lepore and Ludwig rightly say, but a more promising account is close at hand.

Keywords: philosophy of mind; first-person authority; Davidson; Lepore; Ludwig

Chapter.  7784 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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