David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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|
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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.
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