Donald Davidson and the Mirror of Meaning: Holism, Truth, Interpretation

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CUP Archive, Oct 29, 1992 - Philosophy - 301 pages
J. E. Malpas discusses and develops the ideas of Donald Davidson, influential in contemporary thinking on the nature of understanding and meaning, and of truth and knowledge. He provides an account of Davidson's holistic and hermeneutical conception of linguistic interpretation, and, more generally, of the mind. Outlining its Quinean origins and the elements basic to Davidson's Radical Interpretation, J. E. Malpas' book goes on to elaborate this holism and to examine the indeterminacy of interpretation and the principle of charity. The metaphysical and epistemological consequences of Davidson's approach are considered, particularly in relation to scepticism and relativism, the realist/anti-realist debate, and the problem of truth. Parallels are drawn between the Davidsonian emphasis on the centrality of the notion of truth and Heidegger's notion of truth as aletheia, as the book looks to structuralist, hermeneutical and phenomenological sources to illuminate Davidson's position.
 

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Contents

radically interpreting Davidson
1
The Quinean background
11
The Davidsonian project
24
The idea of psychological holism
53
Indeterminacy and psychological structure
104
Charity and understanding
145
A holistic theory of knowledge
191
Truth and the world
230
Bibliography
278
Index
295
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