The idea of a happy death is one that startles and disgusts modern man. However, although that phrase is not often used today, that is what the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr DonaldCoggan, is to some extent considering in his Edwin Stevens lecture given to the Royal Society of Medicine. We are publishing extracts from that lecture by kind permission of the President of the Royal Society of Medicine. We have chosen those passages in the lecture which discuss (...) the limits of the doctor's responsibility to keep a patient alive, the erroneous idea that Christians believe in the artificial prolongation of life in all circumstances, and the most delicate question of the choice of patients who shall receive the costly benefits of modern medical technology. (shrink)
This bold and brilliant book asks the ultimate question of the life sciences: How did the human mind acquire its incomparable power? In seeking the answer, Merlin Donald traces the evolution of human culture and cognition from primitive apes to the era of artificial intelligence, and presents an original theory of how the human mind evolved from its presymbolic form. In the emergence of modern human culture, Donald proposes, there were three radical transitions. During the first, our bipedal (...) but still apelike ancestors acquired "mimetic" skill—the ability to represent knowledge through voluntary motor acts—which made Homo erectus successful for over a million years. The second transition—to "mythic" culture—coincided with the development of spoken language. Speech allowed the large-brained Homo sapiens to evolve a complex preliterate culture that survives in many parts of the world today. In the third transition, when humans constructed elaborate symbolic systems ranging from cuneiforms, hieroglyphics, and ideograms to alphabetic languages and mathematics, human biological memory became an inadequate vehicle for storing and processing our collective knowledge. The modern mind is thus a hybrid structure built from vestiges of earlier biological stages as well as new external symbolic memory devices that have radically altered its organization. According to Donald, we are symbol-using creatures, more complex than any that went before us, and we may have not yet witnessed the final modular arrangement of the human mind. (shrink)
It has been suggested, on the one hand, that quantum states are just states of knowledge; and, on the other, that quantum theory is merely a theory of correlations. These suggestions are confronted with problems about the nature of psycho-physical parallelism and about how we could define probabilities for our individual future observations given our individual present and previous observations. The complexity of the problems is underlined by arguments that unpredictability in ordinary everyday neural functioning, ultimately stemming from small-scale uncertainties (...) in molecular motions, may overwhelm, by many orders of magnitude, many conventionally recognized sources of observed ``quantum'' uncertainty. Some possible ways of avoiding the problems are considered but found wanting. It is proposed that a complete understanding of the relationship between subjective experience and its physical correlates requires the introduction of mathematical definitions and indeed of new physical laws. (shrink)
Corporate entrepreneurs -- described in the academic literature as those managers or employees who do not follow the status quo of their co-workers -- are depicted as visionaries who dream of taking the company in new directions. As a result, though, in overcoming internal obstacles to reaching their professional goals they can often walk a fine line between clever resourcefulness and outright rule breaking. A framework is presented as a guideline for middle managers and organizations seeking to impede unethical behaviors (...) in the pursuit of entrepreneurial activity. This paper examines the barriers middle managers face in trying to be entrepreneurial in less supportive environments, the ethical consequences that can result, and a suggested assessment and training program for averting such dilemmas. We advise companies that embrace corporate entrepreneurship: (1) establish the needed flexibility, innovation, and employee initiative and risk-taking; (2) remove the barriers that the entrepreneurial middle manager may face to more closely align personal and organizational initiatives and reduce the need to behave unethically; and (3) include an ethical component to corporate training which will provide guidelines for instituting compliance and values components into the state-of-the-art corporate entrepreneurship programs. (shrink)
In his recent article, ‘Lottery puzzles and Jesus’ return’, Donald Smith says that Christians should accept a very robust scepticism about the future because a Christian ought to think that the probability of Jesus’ return happening at any future moment is inscrutable to her. But I think that Smith’s argument lacks the power rationally to persuade Christians who are antecedently uncommitted as to whether or not we can or do have any substantive knowledge about the future. Moreover, I think (...) that Christians who are so antecedently uncommitted have available objections they can reasonably press against Smith’s arguments. In the article, I attempt to bring out these objections. (shrink)
Given W.V. Quine’s and Donald Davidson’s extensive agreement about much of the philosophy of language and mind, and the obvious methodological parallels between Quine’s radical translation and Davidson’s radical interpretation, many—including Quine and Davidson—are puzzled by their occasional disagreements. I argue for the importance of attending to these disagreements, not just because doing so deepens our understanding of these influential thinkers, but because they are in fact the shadows thrown from two distinct conceptions of philosophical inquiry: Quine’s “naturalism” and (...) what I call Davidson’s “humanism.” The clash between Quine and Davidson thus provides valuable insight into the history of analytic naturalism and its malcontents. (shrink)
The work of Donald Davidson (1917-2003) transformed the study of meaning. Ernie Lepore and Kirk Ludwig, two of the world's leading authorities on Davidson's work, present the definitive study of his widely admired and influential program of truth-theoretic semantics for natural languages, giving an exposition and critical examination of its foundations and applications.
Donald Davidson’s epistemology is predicated on, among other things, the rejection of Experiential Foundationalism, which he calls ‘unintelligible’. In this essay, I assess Davidson’s arguments for this conclusion. I conclude that each of them fails on the basis of reasons that foundationalists and antifoundationalists alike can, and should, accept.
Over the last forty years, Donald Davidson has been one of the most influential, but least accessible voices in philosophy. There are several reasons why it is hard to come to grips with his work. First, his language is dense, even by the standards of analytic philosophy; while at the same time his thought is highly organic, so that it is difficult to make sense of one idea without an understanding of his whole program. Davidson never attempted to write (...) a book that would provide an easy entry into the interconnections between his many influential and controversial views. Nor did he attempt to record the evolution of his thought, keeping track of how reconsiderations on one point would affect the tenability of the others. It is perhaps a good thing too, for as the volume to be reviewed here makes clear, such a massive project would have left him with little time for his later contributions to philosophy. (shrink)
Ernest Lepore and Kirk Ludwig present the definitive critical exposition of the philosophical system of Donald Davidson (1917-2003). Davidson's ideas had a deep and broad influence in the central areas of philosophy; he presented them in brilliant essays over four decades, but never set out explicitly the overarching scheme in which they all have their place. Lepore's and Ludwig's book will therefore be the key work, besides Davidson's own, for understanding one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century.
A Companion to Donald Davidson presents newly commissioned essays by leading figures within contemporary philosophy. Taken together, they provide a comprehensive overview of Davidson’s work across its full range, and an assessment of his many contributions to philosophy.
Problems of Rationality is divided into three parts. The first four essays defend the claim that judgments of value are objectively true. The next six expound what Davidson called "a unified theory of thought, meaning, and action". The last four discuss the problems that weakness of will and self-deception raise for Davidson's claim that ascription of intention and belief is possible only if we assume the agent's rationality. I shall discuss the three parts in sequence.
The book is an “introductory” reconstruction of Davidson on interpretation —a claim to be taken with a grain of salt. Writing introductory books has become an idol of the tribe. This is a concise book and reflects much study. It has many virtues along with some flaws. Ramberg assembles themes and puzzles from Davidson into a more or less coherent viewpoint. A special virtue is the innovative treatment of incommensurability and of the relation of Davidson’s work to hermeneutic themes. The (...) weakness comes in a certain unevenness. While generally convincing and well written, the book has low points which may leave the reader confused or unconvinced. Davidson is the hero in this book, and our hero is sometimes over idealized. (shrink)
Tracing the background of Davidson’s work in the positivists’ philosophical emigration of the 30’s and in Quine, Evnine’s “Introduction” offers a “map of the terrain to be covered” which stresses the “rationalistic” character of Davidson’s views on holism and rationality. Thus, “his main philosophical concerns ... language, the mental and action...are the ingredients of a philosophical anthropology.” In spite of Quinean roots, the view is that “Davidson has now wholly removed himself, philosophically speaking, from the empiricist tradition.” The result: a (...) “rationalism,...a genuine, non-empiricist philosophical vision.” Though appealing to those of a “rationalist” leaning, this theme seems to generalize Davidson’s criticisms of Quine’s behaviorism as a lapse from empiricism. Often, it arises from interpretive gloss just where the tough-minded reader seeks quotation. (shrink)
Donald Davidson's theory of mind is widely regarded as a normative theory. This is a something of a confusion. Once a distinction has been made between the categorisation scheme of a norm and the norm's force-maker, it becomes clear that a Davidsonian theory of mind is not a normative theory after all. Making clear the distinction, applying it to Davidson's theory of mind, and showing its significance are the main purposes of this paper. In the concluding paragraphs, a sketch (...) is given of how a truly normative Davidsonian theory of mind might be formulated. (shrink)
Donald Davidson is unquestionably one of America's greatest living philosophers. His influence on Anglo-American philosophy over the last twenty years has been enormous, and his work is an unavoidable reference point in current debates in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. This book offers a systematic and accessible introduction to Davidson's work. Evnine begins by discussing Davidson's contribution to the philosophy of mind, including his views on action, events and causation. He then examines Davidson's work in (...) the philosophy of language. The link between meaning and truth, radical interpretation, and semantic holism are considered in detail. The final chapters deal with the metaphysical aspects of Davidson's work and seek to assess his philosophical project as a whole. (shrink)
Donald Davidson has made enormous contributions to the philosophy of action, epistemology, semantics and philosophy of mind and today is recognized as one of the most important analytical philosophers of the late twentieth century. Donald Davidson: Truth, Meaning and Knowledge addresses several issues including Davidson's writings on epistemology and theory of language with their implications of ontology and philosophy of mind and his advances in the philosophy of mind in relation to the views of Williard V. Quine, John (...) McDowell and Peter F. Strawson, in essays by Roger Gibson and Anita Avarmides. (shrink)
J. E. Malpas discusses and develops the ideas of Donald Davidson, influential in contemporary thinking on the nature of understanding and meaning, and of truth and knowledge. He provides an account of Davidson's holistic and hermeneutical conception of linguistic interpretation, and, more generally, of the mind. Outlining its Quinean origins and the elements basic to Davidson's Radical Interpretation, J. E. Malpas' book goes on to elaborate this holism and to examine the indeterminacy of interpretation and the principle of charity. (...) The metaphysical and epistemological consequences of Davidson's approach are considered, particularly in relation to scepticism and relativism, the realist/anti-realist debate, and the problem of truth. Parallels are drawn between the Davidsonian emphasis on the centrality of the notion of truth and Heidegger's notion of truth as aletheia, as the book looks to structuralist, hermeneutical and phenomenological sources to illuminate Davidson's position. (shrink)
Existují filosofové, jejichž díly se lidé zabývají prostě proto, že mají pocit, že v nich najdou něco moudrého či užitečného. Existují ale i filosofové, jejichž díla jsou mnohými lidmi brána ne(jen) jako zdroj poučení, ale i jako jakási hádanka, která se dá luštit. Ze starověkých filosofů se tohoto druhu popularity dostalo například Herakleitovi, kterému bylo dokonce už tehdy přezdíváno skoteinos, temný. V našem století je příkladem filosofa takovéhoto druhu Wittgenstein: mezi těmi, kdo se prokousávají jeho spisy, je zjevně nemalá část (...) těch, kteří to dělají prostě proto, že jeho dílo vidí jako vyzývavý hlavolam, na kterém lze bystřit ostrovtip. I Donald Davidson se zdá být autorem tohoto typu - ač jeho spisy nejsou ani fragmentární, jako ty Herakleitovy, ani nejsou nesouvislými ‘pásmy’, jako spisy pozdního Wittgensteina. K tomuto faktu jistě přispívá zvláštní, podivně lapidární způsob, kterým se Davidson někdy vyjadřuje; my se však pokusíme ukázat, že hlavním důvodem je fakt, že nám věci, o kterých píše, předvádí z perspektivy, kterou pro čtenáře není snadné zaujmout. I přesto (a částečně ovšem asi naopak právě proto) se Davidson pozvolna propracovává na pozici pravděpodobně nejuznávanějšího filosofa USA (jakkoli se asi stěží někdy stane filosofem nejpopulárnějším). Ještě v roce 1980 bylo, domnívám se, pro mnohé překvapením, když se Richard Rorty na některých místech svého kontroverzního filosofického bestselleru Filosofie a zrcadlo přírody1 stylizuje do role pouze jakéhosi Davidsonova epigona. Davidson totiž na první pohled nepůsobí dojmem filosofa, který by aspiroval na místo v učebnicích dějin filosofie: na rozdíl od svých souputníků Quina, Putnama či Rortyho se zabývá relativně úzkým okruhem témat a na to, co se děje ve filosofii kolem něj, příliš nereaguje (na přímé dotazy často odpovídá ve stylu ‘já tomu moc nerozumím’). Od doby, co na něj Rorty takto spektakulárně poukázal, nicméně stoupá na vrcholky filosofického pantheonu ještě strměji než předtím. Dnes je pravděpodobně nejpříkladnějším představitelem toho, co nazývám postanalytickou filosofií: filosofie, která navazuje na to dobré, co přinesla analytická filosofie (na její střízlivou racionalitu, na její důraz na argumentování a odůvodňování, i na její snahu pečlivě ověřovat rozumnost všech těch otázek, na které se má odpovídat), a přitom neváhá opustit to z analytické tradice, co se dnes už zdá přežité či nesprávné (přemrštěný scientismus, apriorní despekt k jiným způsobům filosofického myšlení)2.. (shrink)
One of the earliest and most influential papers applying Darwinian theory to human cultural evolution was Donald T. Campbell’s paper “Variation and Selective Retention in Sociocultural Systems.” Campbell’s programmatic essay appeared as a chapter in a book entitled Social Change in Developing Areas (Barringer et al., 1965). It sketched a very ambitious project to apply Darwinian principles to the study of the evolution of human behavior. His essential theses were four.
Aside from his remarkable studies in psychology and the social sciences, Donald Thomas Campbell (1916–1996) made significant contributions to philosophy, particularly philosophy of science,epistemology, and ethics. His name and his work are inseparably linked with the evolutionary approach to explaining human knowledge (evolutionary epistemology). He was an indefatigable supporter of the naturalistic turn in philosophy and has strongly influenced the discussion of moral issues (evolutionary ethics). The aim of this paper is to briefly characterize Campbells work and to discuss (...) its philosophical implications. In particular, I show its relevance to some current debates in the intersection of biology and philosophy. In fact, philosophy of biology would look poorer without Campbells influence. The present paper is not a hagiography but an attempt to evaluate and critically discuss the meaning of Campbells work for philosophy of biology and to encourage scholars working in this field to read and re-read this work which is both challenging and inspiring. (shrink)
A preface to the Japanese translation of my book _Donald Davidson_ in which I discuss two issues on which Davidson's thought developed substantially after the book was published. First, I explain a new argument, the triangulation argument, which has come to play a prominent part in Davidson’s recent work. Secondly, I enter in some detail into a continuing controversy over supervenience and the causal efficacy of the mental, since Davidson has advanced the issue with a new paper on the topic.
Thanks to their heterogeneity, the nine essays in this volume offer a clear testimony of Donald Davidson's authority, and they undoubtedly show how much his work - even if it has raised many doubts and criticisms - has been, and still is, highly influential and significant in contemporary analytical philosophy for a wide range of subjects. Moreover, the various articles not only critically and carefully analyse Davidson's theses and arguments (in particular those concerning language and knowledge), but they also (...) illustrate how such theories and ideas, despite their unavoidable difficulties, are still alive and potentially fruitful. Davidson's work is indeed an important and provocative starting point for discussing the future progress of philosophy. (shrink)
Davidson, Donald (Herbert) (b. 1917, d. 2003; American), Willis S. and Marion Slusser Professor, University of California at Berkeley (1986–2003). Previously Instructor then Professor in Philosophy at: Queens College New York (1947–1950), Stanford University, California (1950–1967), Princeton University (1967–1969), Rockefeller University, New York City (1970–1976), University of Chicago (1976–1981), University of California at Berkeley (1981–2003). John Locke Lecturer, University of Oxford (1970).
This article is a brief commentary on Donald Turner and Ford Turrell’s “The Non-Existent God: Transcendence, Humanity, and Ethics in Emmanuel Levinas.” While I agree with Turner and Turrell’s general presentation of Levinas’s existential conception of God and ethics, I reflect primarily on the reference the authors make to Kierkegaard as an existentialist forefather of Levinas. I show certain basic similarities between Levinas and Kierkegaard as existentialist thinkers, but also note their differences, also taking into consideration the influence of (...) Hegel. This paper was delivered in the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God. (shrink)
Donald Davidson has been one of the most influential figures on modern analytic philosophy and has made seminal contributions in a wide range of subjects: philosophy of language, philosophy of action, philosophy of mind, epistemology, metaphysics and the theory of rationality. His principal work, embodied in a series of landmark essays stretching over nearly 40 years, exhibits a unity rare among philosophers contributing on so many diverse fronts. Written by a distinguished roster of philosophers, this volume includes chapters on (...) truth and meaning, the philosophy of action, radical interpretation, philosophical psychology, knowledge of the external world, other minds and our own minds, and the implications of Davidson's work for literary theory. This is the only comprehensive introduction to the full range of Davidson's work, and as such it will be of particular value to advanced undergraduates, graduates and professionals in philosophy, psychology, linguistics, and literary theory. (shrink)
Donald Davidson contributed to the discussion of logical form in two ways. On the one hand, he made several influential suggestions on how to give the logical forms of certain constructions of natural language. His account of adverbial modification and so called action-sentences is nowadays, in some form or other, widely employed in linguistics (Harman (forthcoming) calls it "the standard view"). Davidson's approaches to indirect discourse and quotation, while not as influential, also still attract attention today. On the other (...) hand, Davidson provided a general account of what logical form is. This paper is concerned with this general account. Its foremost aim is to give a faithful and detailed picture of what, according to Davidson, it means to give the logical form of a sentence. The structure of the paper is as follows. (1) I will first informally introduce a notion of logical form as the form that matters in certain kinds of entailments, and indicate why philosophers have taken an interest in such a notion. (2) The second section develops constraints that we should arguably abide by in giving an account of logical form. (3) I then turn to Davidson’s view of what is involved in giving such an account. To this end, I will try to reconstruct Davidson’s view of the connection between an assignment of logical forms, a truth theory and a meaning theory. (4) Finally, I will briefly discuss possible problems of Davidson’s account as developed in this paper. (shrink)
The present paper proposes a critical revision of the massive truth notion, in the context of Donald Davidson’s criticism to skepticism. It´s distinguished in Davidson’s work a cuantitative sense and a cualitative sense of the massive truth, asserting that the first one has been more frequently used and has had just an intuitive level of elucidation. The main problems associated to the cuantitative notion of massive truth are revised in relation to the quantification of beliefs, the detection of error (...) on a background of truth and the application of the Davidsonian methodology to non perceptual beliefs. Over this revision it is proposed the substitution of the cuantitative notion of massive truth for a cualitative notion, and are analized its advantages over eventual skeptical objections. (shrink)
Delivered only months before his death, the Gifford Lectures allowed Donald MacKay to clarify and to emphasize his views on many important issues. MacKay stressed the primacy of personal experience and the differences between persons, brains, and machines. These positions are reviewed here, as are some of the reasons why MacKay may remain relatively unknown among American psychologists, philosophers, and neuroscientists.
The essays in this volume constitute the proceedings of a conference on the work of Ddonald MacKinnon, this century's most influential British theologian. MacKinnon's work ranges from Aristotelean metaphysics to trinitarian reflection to Marxism. Surin's contributors start with MacKinnon's writings and move on to discuss such topics as his relation to Barth's theology, the controversy betwen realism and idealism, Trinity and ontology, incarnation and kenosis, the problem of evil, and MacKinnon's ethical reflections.
Thomas Elsaesser claims the late Haneke as a director of ‘mind-game’ films, but his diagnosis of the appeal of such films fails to account for The White Ribbon . In this paper, I draw on the theory of radical interpretation developed by American philosopher Donald Davidson to uncover the film’s power. I argue that the focus on charity in Davidson’s account of the conditions under which an interpreter is able to find a foreign community intelligible illuminates the exquisite discomfort (...) the spectator experiences as she begins to understand the disturbed community that the film portrays. In addition, the film exposes that Davidson’s transcendental argument that language is a condition of mindedness ought to be extended along emotional and moral dimensions. We should not only hold that every rational mind is a language-user, but that every rational mind is an appropriate language-user, so as to account for minds that have true, justified beliefs but which are, nevertheless, disturbed. (shrink)
Donald A. Barr's Introduction to U.S. Health Policy: The Organization, Financing, and Delivery of Health Care in America (second edition, 2007) offers a lucid and informative overview of the U.S. health system and the dilemmas policy makers currently face. Barr has provided a balanced introduction to the way health care is organized, financed, and delivered in the United States. The thirteen chapters of the book are quite comprehensive in the topics they cover. Even those knowledgeable about the U.S. health (...) care system are likely to find much to stimulate their thinking in the text. The book can also appropriately serve as a basic text for a health policy course or in the medical or nursing school curriculum. (shrink)
This paper expands on the political vision embedded in Donald Winnicott’s psychoanalytic work. It comments on Winnicott’s notion that individuality is produced by society, and adds that such production inevitably involves power asymmetry. It is argued that Winnicott values rights and property as communicative devices rather than as private enclosures held against society. However, it is also maintained that Winnicott thinks that social deliberation itself depends on a preceding objective instance that may be referred to as justice. Lastly, aspects (...) of Winnicott’s outlook that touch on ideas of welfare and distribution are examined, especially those concerning the relationships between the market and social agencies, and between the household and the state. It is suggested that these attributes point to an affinity Winnicott has with a progressive liberal trend dating back to Mill, the later manifestation of this liberalism being evident in the design of the 20th-century welfare state. It is concluded that it is for this polity that Winnicott wrote his psychological theory. (shrink)
Donald Davidson foi um dos filósofos mais influentes da tradição analítica da segunda metade do século. A unidade de sua obra é constituída pelo papel central que reflexão sobre como podemos interpretar os proferimentos de um outro falante desempenha para a compreensão da natureza do significado. Davidson adota o ponto de vista metodológico de um intérprete que não pode pressupor nada sobre o significado das palavras de um falante e que não possui nenhum conhecimento detalhado de suas atitudes proposicionais. (...) Neste artigo, eu apresento inicialmente a estrutura e os pressupostos da filosofia da linguagem de Davidson; passo depois a uma discussão sobre a importância do princípio de caridade para seu projeto interpretativo e, por fim, procuro apontar as diferenças do projeto de Davidson com a hermenêutica filosófica. PALAVRAS-CHAVE – Interpretação radical. Princípio de caridade. Hermenêutica. ABSTRACT Donald Davidson was one of the most influential philosophers in the analytic tradition in the last half of the twenthy century. The unity of his work lies in the central role that the reflection on how we are able to interpret the speech of another plays in undestanding the nature of meaning. Davidson adopts the standpoint of the interpreter of the speech of another whose evidence does not, at the outset, pressupose anything about what the speaker’s words mean or any datailed knowledge of his propositional attitudes. This is the position of the radical interpreter. In this paper, I begin with an account of the assumptions and structure of Davidson’s philosophy of language; after this I discuss the philosophical importance of the principle of charity for the theory of radical interpretation and, at the end, I compare Davidson’s interpretative project to the philosophical hermeneutic. KEY WORDS – Radical interpretation. Principle of charity. Hermeneutics. (shrink)
“Truth and Justification in Donald Davidson’s Philosophy”. In this paper, I attempt to discuss the tensions that exist in Davidson’s work between hisconception of beliefs as veridical by nature and its radical opposition to epistemictheories of truth. With this purpose, I introduce two modalities of philosophicalelucidation: analytic non-reductive elucidation and connective elucidation. I alsoclaim that these two modalities are characteristic of two periods of Davidson’sway of dealing with the concept of truth. I attempt to show that the considerationof these (...) two types of elucidation allows shedding light on the way in whichDavidson’s work deals with the problem of truth and on the particular abovementionedtension. (shrink)
Neste livro, Donald Gillies pretende responder ao que se propõe no título, utilizando instrumentos de investigação da História e Filosofia das Ciências. O livro é constituído por três partes. As duas primeiras partes são inteiramente destrutivas e a terceira parte é largamente construtiva. A primeira parte analisa o sistema de avaliação da investigação do Reino Unido, chamado “Research Assessment Exercise” (RAE). A segunda parte analisa um outro sistema de avaliação, chamado “Research Excellence Framework” (REF), que, entretanto, substituiu o RAE. (...) A conclusão dessas partes é de que, quer o RAE, quer o REF, têm efeitos negativos na investigação e não parecem contribuir para uma melhor investigação. A terceira parte propõe um novo modelo de avaliação dos académicos que incluiu o parâmetro Ensino, além dos parâmetros Investigação e Administração. (shrink)
Donald Davidson alcanzó celebridad en el mundo filosófico con la publicación en 1963 de su artículo ¿Acciones, razones y causas¿. En él sostuvo la tesis de que la explicación de una acción mediante razones constituye una forma de explicación causal en la que las razones son entendidas como causa efectiva de la acción. Esta tesis cobró máxima relevancia al interior del contexto intelectual en cuyo seno surgió. Al publicarse el artículo en cuestión, en el mundo anglosajón predominaba la idea (...) de que las razones no eran causa de la acción. Esta idea había sido defendida principalmente por filósofos de orientación wittgensteniana. El presente ensayo aborda algunas de las principales pruebas que se aludieron en defensa de la tesis que sostenía el carácter no causal de las razones, poniéndolas en contraste con los argumentos de los que Davidson se sirve para mostrar la posibilidad de que pueda haber implicaciones lógicas entre determinadas descripciones de eventos, sin que esto impida que tales eventos se relacionen como causa y efecto, dando lugar a lo que en su momento fue ¿y sigue siendo- un original planteamiento filosófico. (shrink)
There has been a troublesome anomaly in the UK between cash payment to men for sperm donation and the effective assumption that women will pay to donate eggs. Some commentators, including Donald Evans in this journal, have argued that the anomaly should be resolved by treating women on the same terms as men. But this argument ignores important difficulties about property in the body, particularly in relation to gametes. There are good reasons for thinking that the contract model and (...) payment for gametes are both inappropriate, and that a model based on altruism should be applied to both sexes. (shrink)
Donald Davidson was one of the 20th Century's deepest analytic thinkers. He developed a systematic picture of the human mind and its relation to the world, an original and sustained vision that exerted a shaping influence well beyond analytic philosophy of mind and language. At its center is an idea of minded creatures as essentially rational animals: Rational animals can be interpreted, their behavior can be understood, and the contents of their thoughts are, in principle, open to others. The (...) combination of a rigorous analytic stance with aspects of humanism so distinctive of Davidsonian thought finds its maybe most characteristic expression when this central idea is brought to bear on the relation of the mental to the physical: Davidson defended the irreducibility of its rational nature while acknowledging that the mental is ultimately determined by the physical. -/- Davidson made contributions of lasting importance to a wide range of topics -- from general theory of meaning and content over formal semantics, the theories of truth, explanation, and action, to metaphysics and epistemology. His writings almost entirely consist of short, elegant, and often witty papers. These dense and thematically tightly interwoven essays present a profound challenge to the reader. -/- This book provides a concise, systematic introduction to all the main elements of Davidson's philosophy. It places the theory of meaning and content at the very center of his thought. By using interpretation, and the interpreter, as key ideas it clearly brings out the underlying structure and unified nature of Davidson's work. Kathrin Gluer carefully outlines his principal claims and arguments, and discusses them in some detail. The book thus makes Davidson's thought accessible in its genuine depth, and acquaints the reader with the main lines of discussion surrounding it. (shrink)