What is radical interpretation? Davidson, Fodor, and the naturalization of philosophy

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 45 (2):161-184 (2002)
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Abstract

Jerry Fodor and Ernest Lepore have recently criticized Davidson's methodology of radical interpretation because of its apparent failure to reflect how actual interpretation is achieved. Responding to such complaints, Davidson claims that he is not interested in the empirical issues surrounding actual interpretation but instead focuses on the question of what conditions make interpretation possible. It is argued that this exchange between Fodor and Lepore on one side, and Davidson on the other, cannot be viewed simply as a naturalist reaction to non-naturalist philosophical inquiry. Through a careful excavation of the hidden assumptions and commitments underlying this debate, we recognize a more serious disagreement over the intellectual obligations of naturalism; a position with a firm hold on current philosophical imaginations. In the process, we gain a new appreciation for how such commitments shape these naturalist positions, and recognize that any resolution to this specific debate will require careful attention to the divergent commitments that are its real source

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Robert Sinclair
Soka University

Citations of this work

Davidson, Reasons, and Causes: A Plea for a Little Bit More Empathy.Karsten R. Stueber - 2019 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 7 (2):59-75.
Text Interpretation as a Scientific Activity.C. Mantzavinos - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):45-58.

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References found in this work

Ontological relativity and other essays.Willard Van Orman Quine (ed.) - 1969 - New York: Columbia University Press.
Inquiries Into Truth And Interpretation.Donald Davidson - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Reason, truth, and history.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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