The relation between world and language in the philosophy of Donald Davidson : the critique of conceptual relativism

Cook, John R. (1997) The relation between world and language in the philosophy of Donald Davidson : the critique of conceptual relativism. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The arguments against the dualism of scheme and content are supplemented in this thesis with a comparison of Davidson and Hans-Georg Gadamer, a Continental philosopher. I compare claims made by both thinkers regarding understanding, interpretation and truth. I show that not only are there many undeniable convergences between them, but also that Gadamer's analysis of hermeneutics can be used to complement and illuminate some of Davidson's concerns. The conclusion reached in this thesis is that the dualism of scheme and content is partly the result of attempts by some philosophers to define truth in terms of something more fundamental, viz., reference. Drawing on some of Davidson's later work, supplemented with arguments by Arthur Fine's, Natural Ontological Attitude, I show that truth is the most fundamental concept we have and escapes all attempts at general or absolute characterization. In consequence, I maintain: i) that the relation between world and language is unmediated; and ii) that Davidson's account of truth transcends the coherence/correspondence debate and the realism/anti-realism debate.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/798
Item ID: 798
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 174-179
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: 1997
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Davidson, Donald, 1917-2003; Dualism; Relativity of knowledge

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