Davidson, Donald Herbert

Davidson, Donald Herbert
(1917– )
American philosopher. Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard, Davidson held posts at a number of universities before becoming professor at Berkeley in 1981. His writings have been a major influence on philosophy of mind and language in the latter half of the 20th century. Davidson introduced the position known as anomalous monism in the philosophy of mind, instigating a vigorous debate over the relation between mental and physical descriptions of persons, and the possibility of genuine explanation of events in terms of psychological properties. Following but enlarging upon the work of Quine on language, Davidson concentrated upon the figure of the radical interpreter, arguing that the method of interpreting a language could be thought of as constructing a truth definition in the style of Tarski, in which the systematic contribution of elements of sentences to their overall meaning is laid bare. The construction takes place within a generally holistic theory of knowledge and meaning. A radical interpreter can tell when a subject holds a sentence true, and using the principle of charity ends up making an assignment of truth-conditions to individual sentences. Although Davidson is a defender of the doctrines of the indeterminacy of radical translation and the inscrutability of reference, his approach has seemed to many to offer some hope of identifying meaning as a respectable notion, even within a broadly extensional approach to language. Davidson is also known for rejection of the idea of a conceptual scheme, thought of as something peculiar to one language or one way of looking at the world, arguing that where the possibility of translation stops so does the coherence of the idea that there is anything to translate. His papers are collected in Essays on Actions and Events (1980) and Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation (1983).

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • Davidson, Donald Herbert — ▪ 2004       American philosopher (b. March 6, 1917, Springfield, Mass. d. Aug. 30, 2003, Berkeley, Calif.), applied logical and linguistic analysis to difficult problems in the philosophy of action, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of… …   Universalium

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  • Donald Davidson (philosopher) — Donald Herbert Davidson Portrait of Donald Davidson by the photographer Steve Pyke in 1990. Full name Donald Herbert Davidson Born 6 March 1917(1917 03 06) Springfield, Massachusetts …   Wikipedia

  • Donald Davidson — Donald Herbert Davidson (* 6. März 1917 in Springfield, Massachusetts; † 30. August 2003 in Berkeley, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer analytischer Philosoph und ein Schüler von Willard Van Orman Quine.[1] Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Donald Davidson — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Donald Herbert Davidson Filosofía occidental Filosofía del siglo XX Nacimiento 6 de marzo de 1917 Springfield, Massachusetts, EE. UU …   Wikipedia Español

  • Davidson —   [ deɪvɪdsn],    1) Donald Herbert, amerikanischer Philosoph, * Springfield (Massachusetts) 6. 3. 1917; war 1960 67 Professor in Stanford (Kalifornien), 1967 70 in Princeton (New Jersey), 1970 76 in …   Universal-Lexikon

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  • Donald J. Cram — Donald James Cram Born April 22, 1919 Chester, Vermont Died June 17, 2001 (aged 82) Palm Desert, California[1] …   Wikipedia

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