Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Davidson, Donald
 
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Meaning (to mean) I 101f
E.g. If I do not know the difference between a short-beaked echidna and a porcupine, it might be that I describe all the short-beaked echidnas which cross my path as porcupines. But since I have learned the word "porcupine" in a certain environment, my word "porcupine" does not refer to short-beaked echidnas, but to porcupins.
It is the porcupine to which I am referring, and it is the porcupine, which I believe to have in front of me, when I sincerely assert, "This is a porcupine." My ignorance of the circumstances which determine what I mean is not the least to show that I do not know what I mean and think.
There is, indeed, no physical difference between my actual condition and the one I would be in if I had meant "short-beaked echdina or porcupine," but this does not mean that there is no psychological difference.
E.g. there may be no physical difference between high-suntan and suntan, but there is a difference, because the causation is different.
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II, 164f
Someone does not mean that p, if he did not intend to be interpreted as if he would mean p. Well, this is not a humpty-dumpty theory. It would only be one, if it was thought sufficient, to intend to be interpreted as if one would mean p to mean p. This is, however, a necessary condition and not a sufficient condition and therefore it is not an Humpty-Dumpty theory.
Humpty-Dumpty says, "You cannot know it!".
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II, 164 f
Davidson: If he knows that she cannot know, then he cannot intend it, because one cannot intend what one does not consider possible.
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McG I 111
Burge and Dummett mean what speakers mean with their words - it very strongly depends on how the community uses these words.
DavidsonVsDummett, DavidsonVsBurge: that is nonsense, because it has nothing to do with successful communication. If you talk differently than the community and someone finds out, then you can communicate all day long. And this is happening all the time.
McGinn: Domestication theory: There is also another approach that refuses to answer the constitutional question regarding the meaning (to mean), and instead conceive the meant meaning as an essentially combination-conditioned phenomenon. (Davidson). In order to tame the intended meaning, we would have to show how semantic basic units connect according to determinable rules.
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Dav II 169f
Meaning/to mean/intention/intent/Grice/DavidsonVsGrice: pro: Feedback is very important - Vs: nevertheless, intention is probably a necessary but not sufficient condition for meaning. - Intention is at least as difficult to explain as meaning.

D I
D. Davidson
Der Mythos des Subjektiven Stuttgart 1993

D III
D. Davidson
Handlung und Ereignis Frankfurt 1990

D IV
D. Davidson
Wahrheit und Interpretation Frankfurt 1990


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-03-29