Possibly v. actually the case: Davidson's omniscient interpreter at twenty [Book Review]

Acta Analytica 18 (1-2):143-160 (2003)
Abstract
The publication of Davidson 2001, anthologizing articles from the 1980s and 1990s, encourages reconsidering arguments contained in them. One such argument is Davidson’s omniscient-interpreter argument (‘OIA’) in Davidson 1983. The OIA allegedly establishes that it is necessary that most beliefs are true. Thus the omniscient interpreter, revived in 2001 and now 20 years old, was born to answer the skeptic. In Part I of this paper, I consider charges that the OIA establishes only that it is possible that most beliefs are true; if correct, then it is also possibly the case that most beliefs are false—the skeptic’s very position. Next, I consider two responses on Davidson’s behalf, showing that each fails. In Part II, I show that the OIA establishes neither that it is necessarily merely possibly but actually the case that most beliefs are true. I then conclude that this is enough to answer the skeptic
Keywords skepticism  omniscient interpreter  Davidson, Donald  principle of charity  radical interpretation
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