Is davidson’s epistemology coherent?

Grazer Philosophische Studien 67 (1):101-130 (2004)


My concern in this paper is with a simple question: Does Donald Davidson's case for an anti-foundationalist epistemology cohere well with his stance on conceptual schemes? After rehearsing Davidson's central anti-foundationalist argument in Section 2, I consider the objection that his argument rests on a premise which is defensible only if we invoke the so-called "dualism of scheme and content", Davidson's opposition to which is the subject of Section 3. Then, in Section 4, I explain why, despite appearances to the contrary, there is actually no incompatibility between the premise of Davidson's anti-foundationalist argument and his insistence that the scheme / content dualism is untenable. Finally, in Section 5, I discuss what this reveals about the basic unity and orientation of Davidson's theory of knowledge.

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