Davidson on first-person authority

Philosophical Quarterly 47 (188):285-304 (1997)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Davidson’s explanation of first‐person authority in utterance of sentences of the form ‘I V that p’ derives first‐person authority from the requirements of interpretation of speech. His account is committed to the view that utterance sentences are truth‐bearers, that believing that p is a matter of holding true an utterance sentence, and that a speaker’s knowledge of what he means gives him knowledge of what belief he expresses by his utterance. These claims are here faulted. His explanation of first‐person authority by reference to the requirements of interpretability is committed to the view that all understanding involves interpretation. This is argued to be a misconception of understanding and of speaker’s meaning. Davidson’s account involves acceptance of the cognitive assumption that normally when a person Vs that p, he knows that he does. This assumption is challenged. Throughout, Davidson’s conception is compared and contrasted with Wittgenstein’s



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,560

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Self-knowledge failures and first person authority.Mark Mccullagh - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):365-380.
Davidson on first‐person authority and externalism.Sven Bernecker - 1996 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 39 (1):121-139.
Davidson and first-person authority: Parataxis and self-expression.Rockney Jacobsen - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (2):251-266.


Added to PP

165 (#105,395)

6 months
7 (#172,983)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

P. M. S. Hacker
Oxford University

References found in this work

Philosophical papers.John Langshaw Austin - 1962 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by J. O. Urmson & G. J. Warnock.
The structure and content of truth.Donald Davidson - 1990 - Journal of Philosophy 87 (6):279-328.
First person authority.Donald Davidson - 1984 - Dialectica 38 (2‐3):101-112.
Self-Knowledge.Quassim Cassam (ed.) - 1994 - New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 13 references / Add more references