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Interpretation and the Interpreter: On the Role of the Interpreter in Davidsonian Foundational Semantics
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7483-7060
2018 (English)In: The Science of Meaning: Essays on the Metatheory of Natural Language Semantics / [ed] Derek Ball, Brian Rabern, Oxford University Press, 2018, p. 226-252Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

According to Donald Davidson, “what a fully informed interpreter could learn about what a speaker means is all there is to learn; the same goes for what the speaker believes” (Davidson 1983, 148). This is a foundational claim about the nature of semantic properties: these are evidence-constituted properties. They are determined by the principle of charity on the basis of data about the behaviour of the speaker(s). But what exactly is the role of the interpreter in the Davidsonian account of meaning determination? Is she merely a dramatic device or an essential element of the metaphysical picture? In this paper, I investigate whether we can get help in answering these questions from David Lewis’s (1983) distinction between natural and unnatural properties.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2018. p. 226-252
Keywords [en]
Donald Davidson, David Lewis, radical interpretation, foundational semantics, principle of charity, interpretationism
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-164999ISBN: 9780198739548 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-164999DiVA, id: diva2:1281002
Available from: 2019-01-21 Created: 2019-01-21 Last updated: 2019-03-12Bibliographically approved

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