Donald Davidson (1917-2003) was one of the most prominent philosophers of the second half of the twentieth century. His thinking about language, mind, and epistemology has shaped the views of several generations of philosophers. This book brings together articles by a host of prominent philosophers to provide new interpretations of Davidson’s key ideas about meaning, language and thought.
The book opens with short commemorative pieces by a wide range of people who knew Davidson well, giving us glimpses into the life of a great philosopher, a beloved husband and father, a colleague, teacher and friend. The chapter by Lepore and Ludwig and the ensuing heated debate with Frederick Stoutland on how to interpret Davidson demonstrate why Davidson’s legacy has become a disputed intellectual territory. The chapters by Kathrin Glüer, Peter Pagin, Barry Smith, James Higginbotham and William Child, all eminent philosophers of language, are prime examples of just one strand of this legacy, while the piece by Sophie Gibb gives us an opening to Davidson’s enormous contribution to philosophy of mind. Donald Davidson: Life and Words closes with a piece by Davidson himself, first published in 1995 in the International Journal of Philosophical Studies, where he brings together the various strands of his work in a Unified Theory of speech and action.
This book comprises key articles first published in the International Journal of Philosophical Studies and previously unpublished commemorative pieces, and serves as a fitting dedication to the work and memory of a great philosopher.
Table of Contents
Foreword Marcia Cavell Introduction: Davidson: Life and Legacy Maria Baghramian Part I. Remembering Donald 1. Marcia Cavell 2. Akeel Bilgrami 3. Elizabeth Boyer (Davidson) 4. Tyler Burge 5. Pascal Engel 6. Dagfinn Follesdal 7. Kathrin Glüer 8. Gilbert Harman 9. John McDowell 10. Jeff Malpas 11. Thomas Nagel 12. Stephen Neale 13. Richard Rorty 14. Carol Rovane 15. Barry Stroud 16. Samuel C. Wheeler III Part II. Interpreting Davidson 17. Ontology in the Theory of Meaning Ernest Lepore and Kirk Ludwig 18. A Mistaken View of Davidson's Legacy Frederick Stoutland 19. Radical Misinterpretation: A Reply to Stoutland Ernest Lepore and Kirk Ludwig 20. Radical Misinterpretation Indeed: Response to Lepore and Ludwig Frederick Stoutland 21. The Status of Charity I: Conceptual Truth or A Posteriori Necessity? Kathrin Glüer 22 The Status of Charity II: Charity, Probability, and Simplicity Peter Pagin 23. Davidson, Interpretation and First-Person Constraints on Meaning Barry Smith 24. Expression, Truth, Predication and Context: Two Perspectives James Higginbotham 25. Interpreting People and Interpreting Texts William Child 26. Why Davidson is not a Property Epiphenomenalist Sophie Gibb Part III. The Last Word 27. Could There Be a Science of Rationality? Donald Davidson
Maria Baghramian is currently Head of the School of Philosophy at University College Dublin, Ireland, and Editor of the International Journal of Philosophical Studies. She has published widely on contemporary American philosophy, relativism and pluralism. In 2010 she was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy.