Response to hoeltje: Davidson vindicated?

Mind 116 (461):131-141 (2007)
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Abstract

In response to Hoeltje I concede the main point of his first section: for each logical truth S of the object language, it is a logical consequence of the Davidsonian theory of meaning I offered in my paper that S is logically true, contrary to what I asserted in the paper. However, I now argue that a Davidsonian theory of meaning may be formulated equally well in such a way that it not a logical consequence of the theory that S is a logical truth. Nonetheless, the revised theory of meaning will still ‘entail’ in a wider sense that S is a logical truth, for we can prove by induction on the consequence class of the revised theory that S is a logical truth. So far, my disagreement with Hoeltje is over the more charitable interpretation of a passage from Davidson. I close by arguing that Davidson was mistaken on one point, a theory of meaning will entail a threefold distinction among the sentences of the object language, not a twofold distinction as he claimed.

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James Edwards
University of the West Indies, Mona

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