Truth, Language, and History by Donald Davidson ePub

Truth, Language, and History is the much-anticipated final volume of Donald Davidson's philosophical writings. In the four groups of essays that comprise it, Davidson continues to explore the themes that occupied him for more than fifty years: the relations between language and the world; speaker intention and linguistic meaning; language and mind; mind and body; mind and world; mind and other minds. He asks: what is the role of the concept of truth in these explorations? And, can a scientific world view make room for human thought without reducing it to something material and mechanistic? Davidson's underlying picture, which can be seen in many of these essays, is that we are acquainted directly with the world, not indirectly via some intermediary such as sense-data, representations, or language itself; that thought emerges in the first place through interpersonal communication in a shared material world, and continues to develop as we engage each other in dialogue; and that language depends on communication, not vice versa. This is the triangulating situation - two creatures communicating about a common world - about which Davidson has written elsewhere. As for the mind-body relation: our ontology need posit nothing more that material objects and events; but as explainers we require two mutually irreducible vocabularies: mind and body. In the last six essays Davidson finds interconnections between his own views and those of some of the major philosophers of the past. Including a new introduction by his widow, Marcia Cavell, this volume completes Donald Davidson's colossal intellectual legacy.

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