§ Main Goals: 1. To construct a theory of meaning (a semantics) as Tarski does with a theory of truth. 2. To argue that the meaning of a sentence is nothing but its truth conditions. 3. To argue that a characterization of a truth predicate describes the required kind of structure, and provides a clear and testable criterion of an adequate semantics for a natural language.
1. The first such problem concerns the clarity of the notion of lying to oneself. Is it possible to lie to oneself? ___ who is being deceived? Who is doing the deceiving? ___ how is one communicating to oneself in the act of self-deception? (internal dialogue?) ___ Is lying something one can do without knowing it?
Desde Descartes a epistemologia tem se baseado no conhecimento de primeira pessoa. Devemos começar, de acordo com a história usual, com o que é mais certo: o conhecimento de nossas próprias sensações e pensamentos. De uma maneira ou outra, progredimos então, se pudermos, para o conhecimento de um mundo externo objetivo. Há por fim uma passagem tênue ao conhecimento das outras mentes. Defendo uma total revisão desse quadro. Todo pensamento proposicional, quer positivo ou cético, sobre o interior ou sobre o (...) exterior, exige a posse do conceito de verdade objetiva, e esse conceito está acessível apenas a criaturas que estão em comunicação com outras. O conhecimento de outras mentes é, assim, básico para todo o pensamento. Mas esse conhecimento exige e supõe o conhecimento de um mundo compartilhado de objetos em um espaço e tempo comuns. Assim, a aquisição do conhecimento não é baseada em uma progressão do subjetivo para o objetivo; ele emerge holisticamente e é interpessoal desde o começo. (shrink)
This paper establishes six critical elements – history, political structures, religion, social customs, civil society openness, and level of economic development –needed to understand the context of corporate social responsibility in other countries and other cultures. Labor conditions in China are used as a case study.
Cognitive control involves not only the ability to manage competing task demands, but also the ability to adapt task performance during learning. This study investigated how violation-, response-, and feedback-related electrophysiological (EEG) activity changes over time during language learning. Twenty-two Dutch learners of German classified short prepositional phrases presented serially as text. The phrases were initially presented without feedback during a pre-test phase, and then with feedback in a training phase spanning two days spaced one week apart. The stimuli included (...) grammatically correct phrases, as well as grammatical violations of gender and declension. Without feedback, participants' classification was near chance and did not improve over trials. During training with feedback, behavioral classification improved and violation responses appeared to both types of violation in the form of a P600. Feedback-related negative and positive components were also present from the first day of training. The results show changes in the electrophysiological responses in concert with improving behavioral discrimination, suggesting that the activity is related to grammar acquisition. (shrink)
The paper compares the business-government-society relationship between China and the U.S. through the analysis of three cases: the tainted milk scandal in China, the beef recall in the U.S., and the peanut scandal in the U.S.
Consumers have the power to influence the social performance of corporations, but in the United States this power has gone largely unused. And too little attention has been paid to consumer issues by IABS scholars. To better understand why and when consumer boycotts are either effective or successful, this paper studies the reaction to two oil industry incidents: the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska and the Shell Oil Brent Spar controversy. Five ingredients are identified as important to the understanding (...) of consumer activism: culture, context, cause, challenge, and charisma. (shrink)
This paper explores the social, legal, and political issues Wal-Mart faces in each of the three North American countries and suggests reasons for the quite significant differences. It also issues a call to Business and Society scholars to add prescriptive work to the already large body of descriptive work that has been collected.
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. 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
This paper examines the ethical implications of "poison put" provisions included in bond offerings. A number of firms are using event-risk protections in bond offerings in an effort to attract investors back into the bond market. One of the most common event-risk protections is a "poison put" provision, which allows the bondholder to "put" the bond back to the firm at par or at a premium under certain specified conditions, such as a takeover effort or a downgrading of the bond (...) by rating agencies. While such a provision is obviously of value to the bondholders, there is a secondary effect that is not as obvious. Using such a provision helps to insure that boards of directors must put the interests of all of the stakeholders ahead of any personal interests of the board members, thus protecting the stakeholders. The use of event-risk protections helps to deter takeovers, induce bidders to negotiate with management in any takeover efforts, and avoid two-tier takeover offers. As a result, the "poison put" provisions have a positive impact on share values while simultaneously protecting the investments of bondholders. Such an impact makes the use of "poison put" provisions in bonds an ethical use of management power. (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)
Since Descartes, epistemology has been based on first person knowledge. We must begin, according to the usual story, with what is most certain: knowledge of our own sensations and thoughts. In one way or another we then progress, if we can, to knowledge of an objective external world. There is then the final, tenuous, step to knowledge of other minds. I shall argue for a total revision of this picture. All propositional thought, whether positive or skeptical, whether of the inner (...) or of the outer, requires possession of the concept of objective truth, and this concept is accessible only to those creatures that are in communication with others. Knowledge of other minds is thus basic to all thought. But such knowledge requires and assumes knowledge of a shared world of objects in a common time and space. Thus the acquisition of knowledge is not based on a progression from the subjective to the objective; it emerges holistically, and is interpersonalfrom the start. (shrink)
Two questions are raised about Quine's view of truth. He has recently said that ontology is relative to a translation manual: is this the same as relativizing it to a language? The same question may be asked about truth. Should we think there is one concept of truth which is relative to a language, or is there a separate concept for each language (or speaker)? The second question concerns Quine's repeated endorsements of the ?disquotational? account of truth. Does he think (...) this account limits a truth predicate to application to a single language, or can translation (or Tarski's methods) allow us to apply a truth predicate in one language to sentences in other languages? If the latter, can Quine still contend that the disquotational account is a ?full? account of the concept of truth? The answer would tell us whether Quine can be counted among those who would deflate the concept of truth. (shrink)