David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Studies 146 (2):197 - 221 (2009)
One might take the significance of Davidson’s indeterminacy thesis to be that the question as to which language we can take another to be speaking can only be settled relative to our choice of an acceptable theory for interpreting the speaker. This, in turn, could be taken to show that none of us is ever speaking a determinate language. I argue that this result is self-defeating and cannot avoid collapse into a troubling skepticism about meaning. I then offer a way of trying to make sense of the idea that some utterances do belong to determinate languages even though there is no determinate language one can take another to be speaking. This, however, results in an uninviting picture of communication in which no speaker is really in a position to say what another’s words mean.
|Keywords||Interpretation Theories of truth Theories of meaning Languages Indeterminacy Davidson|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Dorit Bar-On & Mark Risjord (1992). Is There Such a Thing as a Language? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 22 (2):163-190.
Donald Davidson (1984). Inquiries Into Truth And Interpretation. Oxford University Press.
Donald Davidson (2001). Subjective, Intersubjective, Objective: Philosophical Essays Volume 3. Clarendon Press.
Donald Davidson (2005). Truth and Predication. Harvard University Press.
Donald Davidson (2005). Truth, Language and History. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Alan Malachowski (1988). Searle on First Person Meaning and Indeterminacy. Theoria 54 (1):25-30.
Harald Johannessen (1976). On Quoting: An Essay on the Ontology of Words. Universitetsforlaget.
Shyam Ranganathan (2007). Of Language, Translation Theory and a Third Way in Semantics. Essays in Philosophy 8 (1):1.
Joseph Rouse (1991). Indeterminacy, Empirical Evidence, and Methodological Pluralism. Synthese 86 (3):443 - 465.
Patricia Hanna (2006). Swimming and Speaking Spanish. Philosophia 34 (3):267-285.
Christian Nimtz (2005). Reassessing Referential Indeterminacy. Erkenntnis 62 (1):1 - 28.
Thomas Hofweber (2010). Inferential Role and the Ideal of Deductive Logic. The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5 (1).
Duncan MacIntosh (1989). Modality, Mechanism and Translational Indeterminacy. Dialogue 28 (03):391-.
Roy Sorensen (1996). The Metaphysics of Words. Philosophical Studies 81 (2-3):193 - 214.
Günter Abel (1994). Indeterminacy and Interpretation. Inquiry 37 (4):403 – 419.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads38 ( #42,257 of 1,096,216 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #126,669 of 1,096,216 )
How can I increase my downloads?