The Essential Davidson compiles the most celebrated papers of one of the twentieth century's greatest philosophers. It distills Donald Davidson's seminal contributions to our understanding of ourselves, from three decades of essays, into one thematically organized collection. A new, specially written introduction by Ernie Lepore and Kirk Ludwig, two of the world's leading authorities on his work, offers a guide through the ideas and arguments, shows how they interconnect, and reveals the systematic coherence of Davidson's worldview. (...) class='Hi'>Davidson's philosophical program is organized around two connected projects. The first is that of understanding the nature of human agency. The second is that of understanding the nature and function of language, and its relation to the world. Accordingly, the first part of the book presents Davidson's investigation of reasons, causes, and intentions, which revolutionized the philosophy of action. This leads to his notable doctrine of anomalous monism, the view that all mental events are physical events, but that the mental cannot be reduced to the physical. The second part of the book presents the famous essays in which Davidson set out his highly original and influential philosophy of language, which founds the theory of meaning on the theory of truth. These fifteen classic essays will be invaluable for anyone interested in the study of mind and language. Fascinating though they are individually, it is only when drawn together that there emerges a compelling picture of man as a rational linguistic animal whose thoughts, though not reducible to the material, are part of the fabric of the world, and whose knowledge of his own mind, the minds of others, and the world around him is as fundamental to his nature as the power of thought and speech itself. (shrink)
Dr. Davidson is a William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Psychology and has been at Wisconsin since 1984.
Now in a new edition, this volume updates Davidson's exceptional Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation (1984), which set out his enormously influential philosophy of language. The original volume remains a central point of reference, and a focus of controversy, with its impact extending into linguistic theory, philosophy of mind, and epistemology. Addressing a central question--what it is for words to mean what they do--and featuring a previously uncollected, additional essay, this work will appeal to a wide audience of philosophers, (...) linguists, and psychologists. (shrink)
This is the long-awaited third volume of philosophical writings by Davidson, whose influence on philosophy since the 1960s has been deep and broad. His first two collections, published by Oxford in the early 1980s, are recognized as contemporary classics. His ideas have continued to flow; now, in this new work, he presents a selection of his best work on knowledge, mind, and language from the last two decades. It is a rich and rewarding feast for anyone interested in philosophy, (...) and essential reading for anyone working on these topics. (shrink)
Truth, Language, and History is the much-anticipated final volume of Donald Davidson's philosophical writings. In four groups of essays, Davidson continues to explore the themes that occupied him for more than fifty years: the relations between language and the world; speaker intention and linguistic meaning; language and mind; mind and body; mind and world; mind and other minds. He asks: what is the role of the concept of truth in these explorations? And, can a scientific world view make (...) room for human thought without reducing it to something material and mechanistic? Including a new introduction by his widow, Marcia Cavell, this volume completes Donald Davidson's colossal intellectual legacy. (shrink)
Problems of Rationality is the eagerly awaited fourth volume of Donald Davidson's philosophical writings. From the 1960s until his death in August 2003 Davidson was perhaps the most influential figure in English-language philosophy, and his work has had a profound effect upon the discipline. His unified theory of the interpretation of thought, meaning, and action holds that rationality is a necessary condition for both mind and interpretation. Davidson here develops this theory to illuminate value judgements and how (...) we understand them; to investigate what the conditions are for attributing mental states to an object or creature; and to grapple with the problems presented by thoughts and actions which seem to be irrational. Anyone working on knowledge, mind, and language will find these essays essential reading. (shrink)
A study of problems, all revolving around the subject of intellect in the philosophies of Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes, this book starts by reviewing discussions in Greek and early Arabic philosophy which served as the background for the three Arabic thinkers. Davidson examines the cosmologies and theories of human and active intellect in the three philosophers and covers such subjects as: the emanation of the supernal realm from the First Cause; the emanation of the lower world from the transcendent (...) active intellect; stages of human intellect; illumination of the human intellect by the transcendent active intellect; conjunction of the human intellect with the transcendent active intellect; prophecy; and human immortality. Davidson shows that medieval Jewish philosophers and the Latin Scholastics had differing perceptions of Averroes because they happened to use works belonging to different periods of his philosophic career. (shrink)
Donald Davidson has prepared a new edition of his classic 1980 collection of Essays on Actions and Events, including two additional essays. In this seminal investigation of the nature of human action, Davidson argues for an ontology which includes events along with persons and other objects. Certain events are identified and explained as actions when they are viewed as caused and rationalized by reasons; these same events, when described in physical, biological, or physiological terms, may be explained by (...) appeal to natural laws. The mental and the physical thus constitute irreducibly discrete ways of explaining and understanding events and their causal relations. -/- Among the topics discussed are: freedom to act; weakness of the will; the logical form of talk about actions, intentions, and causality; the logic of practical reasoning; Hume's theory of the indirect passions; and the nature and limits of decision theory. The introduction, cross-references, and appendices emphasize the relations between the essays and explain how Davidson's views have developed. -/- . (shrink)
Extending the work of Davidson and Worrell (1988), we further investigate the stock market''s reaction to announced corporate illegalities. We examine a sample of 535 announcements of corporate crime and obtain an overall insignificant stock market reaction. However, when the sample is divided by type of crime, we find that the stock market reacts significantly to announcements of bribery, tax evasion, and violations of government contracts. We also find a significantly negative reaction to announcements of corporate crime when (...) the company had been previously accused of other illegal activity. For companies accused of crime in the 1970s, 51% of them were accused again in the 1980s. (shrink)
Clifford, Dick The world outlook is rather grim. Greece is bankrupt, the efforts to cure the problem by making new loans to the banks and cutting living standards is likely only to postpone the date when bankruptcy is declared. Italy and Spain are in a similar position. Britain, Europe and the USA are loaded with debt, only a few countries like Iceland are adopting methods which are the reverse of what conventional economics requires and seem to be recovering from (...) their problems slowly. (shrink)
Biologists, historians, lawyers, art historians, and literary critics all voice arguments in the critical dialogue about what constitutes evidence in research and scholarship. They examine not only the constitution and "blurring" of disciplinary boundaries, but also the configuration of the fact-evidence distinctions made in different disciplines and historical moments the relative function of such concepts as "self-evidence," "experience," "test," "testimony," and "textuality" in varied academic discourses and the way "rules of evidence" are themselves products of historical developments. The essays and (...) rejoinders are by Terry Castle, Lorraine Daston, Carlo Ginzburg, Ian Hacking, Mark Kelman, R. C. Lewontin, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Mary Poovey, Donald Preziosi, Simon Schaffer, Joan W. Scott, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Barbara Herrnstein Smith. The critical responses are by Lauren Berlant, James Chandler, Jean Comaroff, Arnold I. Davidson, Harry D. harootunian, Elizabeth Helsinger, Thomas C. Holt, Francoise Meltzer, Robert J. Richards, Lawrence Rothfield, Joel Snyder, Cass R. Sunstein, and William Wimsatt. (shrink)
Donald Davidson presents a new edition of the 1984 volume which set out his enormously influential philosophy of language. Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation has been a central point of reference and a focus of controversy in the subject ever since, and its influence has extended into linguistic theory, philosophy of mind, and epistemology. This new edition features an additional essay, previously uncollected. The central question which these essays address is what it is for words to mean what they (...) do. Davidson argues that a philosophically instructive theory of meaning should acknowledge the holistic nature of linguistic understanding, in that it should provide an interpretation of all utterances, actual and potential, of a speaker or group of speakers; and that it should not rely upon the concepts it attempts to explain, in that it should be verifiable independently of knowledge of the detailed propositional attitudes of the speaker. Among the topics covered in the essays are the relation between theories of truth and theories of meaning, translation, quotation, belief, radical interpretation, reference, metaphor, and communication. (shrink)
Moses Maimonides, rabbinist, philosopher, and physician, had a greater impact on Jewish history than any other medieval figure. Born in Cordova, Spain, in 1137 or 1138, he spent a few years in Morocco, visited Palestine, and settled in Egypt by 1167. He died there in 1204. Maimonides was a man of superlatives. He wrote the first commentary to cover the entire Mishna corpus; composed what quickly became the dominant work on the 613 commandments believed to have been given by God (...) to Moses; produced the most comprehensive and most intensely studied code of rabbinic law to emerge from the Middle Ages; and his Guide for the Perplexed has had a greater influence on Jewish thought than any other Jewish philosophic work. During the last decades of his life, he conducted an active medical practice, which extended into the royal court--the Sultan Saladin is reported to have been his patient--and composed some ten or eleven works on medicine. This book offers a fresh look at every aspect of Maimonides' life and works: the course of his life, his education, his personality, and his rabbinic, philosophical, and medical writings. At a number of junctures, Davidson points out that information about Maimonides which has been accepted for decades or centuries as common knowledge is in actuality supported by no credible evidence and often, more disconcertingly, is patently incorrect. Maimonides' diverse writings are frequently viewed as expressions of several distinct personas, uncomfortably and awkwardly bundled into a single human frame; the present book treats his writings as expressions of a single, integrated, albeit complex, mind. (shrink)
The central debate of natural theology among medieval Muslims and Jews concerned whether or not the world was eternal. Opinions divided sharply on this issue because the outcome bore directly on God's relationship with the world: eternity implies a deity bereft of will, while a world with a beginning leads to the contrasting picture of a deity possessed of will. In this exhaustive study of medieval Islamic and Jewish arguments for eternity, creation, and the existence of God, Herbert Davidson (...) provides a systematic classification of the proofs, analyzes and explains them, and traces their sources in Greek philosophy. Throughout the study, Davidson tries to take into account every argument of a philosophical character, disregarding only those arguments that rest entirely on religious faith or which fall below a minimal level of plausibility. (shrink)
Subjective, Intersubjective, Objective is the long-awaited third volume of philosophical writings by Donald Davidson, whose influence on philosophy since the 1960s has been deep and broad. His first two collections, published by OUP in the early 1980s, are recognized as contemporary classics. Now Davidson presents a selection of his work on knowledge, mind, and language from the 1980s and the 1990s. We all have knowledge of our own minds, knowledge of the contents of other minds, and knowledge of (...) the shared environment. Davidson examines the nature and status of each of these three sorts of knowledge, and the connections and differences among them. Along the way he has illuminating things to say about truth, human rationality, and the relations among language, thought, and the world. This new volume offers a rich and rewarding feast for anyone interested in philosophy today, and is essential reading for anyone working on its central topics. (shrink)
This summary paper explains why we are not constrained to start from a solipsistic, or first person point of view in considering the nature of thought. My aim here is to suggest the nature of an acceptable extemalism. According to this view, knowledge of other minds need not be a problem m addition to the problem of empirical knowledge. The essential step toward determining the content of someone else's thought is made by discovering what normally causes those thoughts. Hence I (...) believe that there could not be thoughts in one mind if there were not other thoughtful creatures with which the first mind shared a natural world. (shrink)
Reminiscences of Peter, by P. Oppenheim.--Natural kinds, by W. V. Quine.--Inductive independence and the paradoxes of confirmation, by J. Hintikka.--Partial entailment as a basis for inductive logic, by W. C. Salmon.--Are there non-deductive logics?, by W. Sellars.--Statistical explanation vs. statistical inference, by R. C. Jeffre--Newcomb's problem and two principles of choice, by R. Nozick.--The meaning of time, by A. Grünbaum.--Lawfulness as mind-dependent, by N. Rescher.--Events and their descriptions: some considerations, by J. Kim.--The individuation of events, by D. Davidson.--On properties, (...) by H. Putnam.--A method for avoiding the Curry paradox, by F. B. Fitch.--Publications (1934-1969) by Carl G. Hempel (p. -270). (shrink)
: This essay critically explores contemporary Euro-American feminist debate on prostitution. It argues that to develop analyses relevant to the experience of more than just a small minority of "First World" women, those who are concerned with prostitution as a form of work need to look beyond liberal discourse on property and contractual consent for ways of conceptualizing the rights and wrongs of "sex work.".
In this paper, I credit Quine with having implicitly held a view I had long urged on him: externalism. Quine was the first fully to recognize that all there is to meaning is what we learn or absorb from observed usage. This entails the possibility of indeterminacy, thus destroying the myth of meanings. It also entails a powerful form of externalism. There is, of course, a counter-current in Quine's work of the mid century: the idea of stimulus meaning. Attractive as (...) this choice of empirical base is compared to such options as sense data, appearances, and percepts, it has serious difficulties. In general, an externalism which ties the contents of observation sentences and perceptual beliefs directly to the sorts of situations that usually make them true is superior to those forms of empiricism which introduce intermediaries between word and object. (shrink)
A theory of radical interpretation gives the meanings of all sentences of a language, and can be verified by evidence available to someone who does not understand the language. Such evidence cannot include detailed information concerning the beliefs and intentions of speakers, and therefore the theory must simultaneously interpret the utterances of speakers and specify (some of) his beliefs. Analogies and connections with decision theory suggest the kind of theory that will serve for radical interpretation, and how permissible evidence can (...) support it. (shrink)
A phenomenon “emerges” when a concept is instantiated for the first time: hence emergence is relative to a set of concepts. Propositional thought and language emerge together. It is proposed that the degree of complexity of an object language relative to a given metalanguage can be gauged by the number of ways it can be translated into that metalanguage: in analogy with other forms of measurement, the more ways the object language can be translated into the metalanguage, the less powerful (...) the conceptual resources of the object language. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that presentism has a problem accounting forthe truth of statements whose truth conditions seem to require therebe relations that hold between present and non-present objects. Imotivate the problem and then examine several strategies for dealingwith the problem. I argue that no solution is forthcoming, and thispresents a prima facie problem for presentism.
Meditation can be conceptualized as a family of complex tial to be speciﬁc about the type of meditation practice emotional and attentional regulatory training regimes under investigation. Failure to make such distinctions developed for various ends, including the cultivation of..
This paper deals with the conflict between the desire of an employer to test employees for honesty and chemical dependency, and the right of the employee to privacy. Not only is the physical privacy of the employee infringed upon, but the psychic privacy of the individual as well. It is the conclusion of the paper that such an invasion of privacy is not justified without serious and compelling reason, and not the mere chance that testing will reveal problems among some (...) percentage of the tested persons. (shrink)
: Drawing Wittgenstein's and Irigaray's philosophies into conversation might help resolve certain misunderstandings that have so far hampered both the reception of Irigaray's work and the development of feminist praxis in general. A Wittgensteinian reading of Irigaray can furnish an anti-essentialist conception of "woman" that retains the theoretical and political specificity feminism requires while dispelling charges that Irigaray's attempt to delineate a "feminine" language is either groundlessly utopian or entails a biological essentialism.
This paper examines the relationship between organizational ethical culture in two large international CPA firms, auditors'' personal values and the ethical orientation that those values dictate, and judgments in ethical dilemmas typical of those that accountants face. Using an experimental task consisting of multiple judgments designed to vary in "moral intensity" (Jones, 1991), and unique as well as tried-and-true approaches to variable measurements, this study examined the judgments of more than three hundred participants in our study. ANCOVA and path analysis (...) results indicate that: (1) Ethical judgments in situations of high moral intensity are affected by personal values and by environmental variables, such as the professional code of conduct (direct and indirect effects) and previous ethics instruction (direct effect only). (2) Corporate ethical culture, and a relatively strong firm rules-orientation, affect auditors'' idealism but not relativism, and therefore indirectly affect ethical judgments. Jones'' (1991) moral intensity argument is supported: differences in the characteristics of specific judgment tasks apparently result in different decision processes. (shrink)
This paper addresses the impact of the unethical business conduct of a few individuals that shook the financial market in 1986. Specifically, in the study undertaken for this paper, the wealth status of the shareholders of securities firms was examined in relation to the public disclosure of the insider-trading scandals involving Dennis Levine, Ivan Boesky, and their confederates. It was hypothesized that the expected market-adjusted stock returns for the securities firms would be negative as a result of the scandals. The (...) findings of the study supported the hypothesis. (shrink)