In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning: Essays on the Metatheory of Natural Language Semantics. Oxford University Press. pp. 226-252 (2018)

Kathrin Glüer-Pagin
Stockholm University
According to Donald Davidson, “what a fully informed interpreter could learn about what a speaker means is all there is to learn; the same goes for what the speaker believes”. This is a foundational claim about the nature of semantic properties: these are evidence-constituted properties. They are determined by the principle of charity on the basis of data about the behaviour of the speaker. But what exactly is the role of the interpreter in the Davidsonian account of meaning determination? Is she merely a dramatic device or an essential element of the metaphysical picture? In this paper, I investigate whether we can get help in answering these questions from David Lewis’s distinction between natural and unnatural properties.
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