On Davidson and interpretation

Synthese 80 (3):321 - 345 (1989)
Davidson''s theory of interpretation, I argue, is vulnerable to a number of significant difficulties, difficulties which can be avoided or resolved by the more Quinean approach which I develop. In Section 1 I note difficulties which apply to T-theories but are avoided by translation manuals. In Section 2 I show how to construct what I call T-manuals, which are like T-theories in requiring Tarskian structure, but like translation manuals in avoiding the difficulties discussed in Section 1. In Section 3 I show that the approach using T-manuals does at least as well as Davidson''s with respect to a number of other concerns of his. In Section 4 I show that it does better than Davidson''s with respect to reporting interpretations, especially where demonstrative utterances are concerned. In Section 5 I argue for (somewhat modified) Quinean empirical constraints, which go with manuals, as superior to the empirical constraints Davidson imposes, which go with T-theories. In Section 6 I show that Davidson is unable to offer an adequate account of what an interpreter knows; and propose a more acceptable theory of language mastery which gives a central role to the requirement that the interpreter''s language usage satisfy the refined and amplified Quinean empirical constraints of Section 5.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00869579
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,831
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

31 ( #101,076 of 1,724,890 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #167,179 of 1,724,890 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.