Understanding Our Actual Scheme

Grazer Philosophische Studien 36 (1):149-156 (1989)
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There are philosophers who think that questions of fact can be distinguished from questions of interpretation of facts. Davidson calls the distinction between unconceptualized facts and interpretative schemes "the third dogma of empiricism". This points to Quine's article 'Two Dogmas of Empiricism". In it, Quine challenged the distinction between synthetic and analytic statements and the possibility of reducing the meaning of all synthetic statements to immediateexperience. Whereas Quine has remained faithful to empiricism, Davidson gives up empiricism. It is difficult to determine his standpoint. His remark that our actual scheme is best understood as extensional and materialistic, is rather perplexing. Is it intelligible, under Davidson's premisses, to speak of our actual scheme?



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