David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Philosophical Research 23 (January):147-163 (1998)
Among anti-skeptical arguments based on premises about meaning, Davidson’s is distinctive because of the holistic element in both his semantic starting point and his epistemological conclusion. Davidson takes the primary bearers of meaning to be belief systems, and it is actually-held belief systems whose overall correctness he concludes to be knowable. Critical attention has gravitated toward a part of the argument that claims that any meaningful discourse must be radically interpretable by one who is omniscient except for the meanings of the speaker’s words and thoughts. I argue that there is a reading of this claim on which skeptics have good reason to accept it. But on this reading the argument goes through only if another crucial premise---the necessity for radical interpretation to be done charitably---is construed in a way that leaves skeptics free to reject it
|Keywords||Epistemology Holism Scepticism Semantics Davidson, D|
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