The Essential Davidson compiles the most celebrated papers of one of the twentieth century's greatest philosophers. It distills Donald Davidson's seminal contributions to our understanding of ourselves, from three decades of essays, into one thematically organized collection. A new, specially written introduction by Ernie Lepore and Kirk Ludwig, two of the world's leading authorities on his work, offers a guide through the ideas and arguments, shows how they interconnect, and reveals the systematic coherence of Davidson's worldview. (...) class='Hi'>Davidson's philosophical program is organized around two connected projects. The first is that of understanding the nature of human agency. The second is that of understanding the nature and function of language, and its relation to the world. Accordingly, the first part of the book presents Davidson's investigation of reasons, causes, and intentions, which revolutionized the philosophy of action. This leads to his notable doctrine of anomalous monism, the view that all mental events are physical events, but that the mental cannot be reduced to the physical. The second part of the book presents the famous essays in which Davidson set out his highly original and influential philosophy of language, which founds the theory of meaning on the theory of truth. These fifteen classic essays will be invaluable for anyone interested in the study of mind and language. Fascinating though they are individually, it is only when drawn together that there emerges a compelling picture of man as a rational linguistic animal whose thoughts, though not reducible to the material, are part of the fabric of the world, and whose knowledge of his own mind, the minds of others, and the world around him is as fundamental to his nature as the power of thought and speech itself. (shrink)
An ad hominem fallacy is committed when an individual employs an irrelevant personal attack against an opponent instead of addressing that opponent’s argument. Many discussions of such fallacies discuss judgments of relevance about such personal attacks, and consider how we might distinguish those that are relevant from those that are not. This paper will argue that the literature on bias and testimony can helpfully contribute to that analysis. This will highlight ways in which biases, particularly unconscious biases, can make ad (...) hominem fallacies seem effective, even when the irrelevance is recognized. (shrink)
As screen-based virtual worlds have gradually begun facilitating more and more of our social interactions, some researchers have argued that the virtual worlds of these interactions do not allow for embodied social understanding. The aim of this article is to examine exactly the possibility of this by looking to esports practitioners’ experiences of interacting with each other during performance. By engaging in an integration of qualitative research methodologies and phenomenology, we investigate the actual first-person experiences of interaction in the virtual (...) worlds of the popular team-based esports practices Counter Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends. Our analysis discloses how the practitioners’ interactions essentially depend on intercorporeality – understood as a form of reciprocity of bodily intentionality between the players. This is an intercorporeality that is present throughout the players’ performance, but which especially comes to the front when they engage in feinting. Acknowledging the intercorporeality integral to at least some esports practices helps fuzzying the sharp division between virtuality and embodied social understanding. Doing so highlights the fluidity of our embodied condition, and it raises interesting questions concerning the possibility of yet other forms of embodied sociality in a wider range of virtual formats in the world. (shrink)
Screen-based virtual worlds have been described as fundamentally disembodying. Contrary to this, the aim of this article is to provide a phenomenological analysis of bodily presence in one case of screen-based virtuality. By integrating phenomenology with qualitative research methodologies, I explore esports practitioners’ experiences of bodily presence in League of Legends (LoL). Here, descriptions from real-life esports practitioners are analyzed within the phenomenological framework of ‘incorporation’. My analysis shows that the practitioners’ experience and engage with their virtual world not just (...) by incorporating their physical gaming equipment, but also through incorporation of virtual abilities and tools specific to the game world. Having shown that the LoL practitioner’s body spans both physical and virtual space without leaving the body behind, I situate these results within the discussion of virtual presence in video games. I claim that the practitioners’ sense of presence can be accounted for by situating the integrated physical and virtual tools and abilities within the phenomenological framework of the ‘nullpoint’, understood as a bodily field of activity shaped by our incorporated skills and tools. (shrink)
Donald Davidson is unquestionably one of America's greatest living philosophers. His influence on Anglo-American philosophy over the last twenty years has been enormous, and his work is an unavoidable reference point in current debates in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. This book offers a systematic and accessible introduction to Davidson's work. Evnine begins by discussing Davidson's contribution to the philosophy of mind, including his views on action, events and causation. He then examines (...) class='Hi'>Davidson's work in the philosophy of language. The link between meaning and truth, radical interpretation, and semantic holism are considered in detail. The final chapters deal with the metaphysical aspects of Davidson's work and seek to assess his philosophical project as a whole. (shrink)
eSports practice designates a unique set of activities tethered to competitive, virtual environments, or worlds. This correlation between eSports practitioner and virtual world, we argue, is inadequately accounted for solely in terms of something physical or intellectual. Instead, we favor a perspective on eSports practice to be analyzed as a perceptual and embodied phenomenon. In this article, we present the phenomenological approach and focus on the embodied sensations of eSports practitioners as they cope with and perceive within their virtual worlds. (...) By approaching eSports phenomenologically, we uncover ways in which its unique forms of virtual involvement overlap with as well as differentiate themselves from traditional structures of embodiment. (shrink)
Ernest Lepore and Kirk Ludwig present the definitive critical exposition of the philosophical system of Donald Davidson. Davidson 's ideas had a deep and broad influence in the central areas of philosophy; he presented them in brilliant essays over four decades, but never set out explicitly the overarching scheme in which they all have their place. Lepore's and Ludwig's book will therefore be the key work, besides Davidson 's own, for understanding one of the greatest philosophers of (...) the twentieth century. (shrink)
"Influenced by Methodists George Whitefield and John Wesley, Newton became prominent among those favoring a Methodist-style revival in the Church of England. This movement stressed personal conversion, simple worship, emotional enthusiasm, and social justice.
The work of Donald Davidson (1917-2003) transformed the study of meaning. Ernie Lepore and Kirk Ludwig, two of the world's leading authorities on Davidson's work, present the definitive study of his widely admired and influential program of truth-theoretic semantics for natural languages, giving an exposition and critical examination of its foundations and applications.
According to many commentators, Davidson’s earlier work on philosophy of action and truth-theoretic semantics is the basis for his reputation, and his later forays into broader metaphysical and epistemological issues, and eventually into what became known as the triangulation argument, are much less successful. This book by two of his former students aims to change that perception. In Part One, Verheggen begins by providing an explanation and defense of the triangulation argument, then explores its implications for questions concerning semantic (...) normativity and reductionism, the social character of language and thought, and skepticism about the external world. In Part Two, Myers considers what the argument can tell us about reasons for action, and whether it can overcome skeptical worries based on claims about the nature of motivation, the sources of normativity and the demands of morality. The book reveals Davidson’s later writings to be full of innovative and important ideas that deserve much more attention than they are currently receiving. (shrink)
Dr. Davidson is a William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Psychology and has been at Wisconsin since 1984.
Donald Davidson is, arguably, the most important philosopher of mind and language in recent decades. His articulation of the position he called "anomalous monism" and his ideas for unifying the general theory of linguistic meaning with semantics for natural language both set new agendas in the field. _Interpreting Davidson_ collects original essays on his work by some of his leading contemporaries, with Davidson himself contributing a reply to each and an original paper of his own.
Donald Davidson once suggested that a liar ?must intend to represent himself as believing what he does not?. In this paper I argue that, while Davidson was mistaken about lying in a few important respects, his main insight yields a very attractive definition of lying. Namely, you lie if and only if you say something that you do not believe and you intend to represent yourself as believing what you say. Moreover, I show that this Davidsonian definition can (...) handle counter-examples that undercut four prominent definitions of lying: viz., the traditional intend-to-deceive definition, Thomas Carson's definition, Don Fallis's definition, and Andreas Stokke's definition. (shrink)
Open Access: This paper will connect literature on epistemic injustice with literature on victims and perpetrators, to argue that in addition to considering the credibility deficit suffered by many victims, we should also consider the credibility excess accorded to many perpetrators. Epistemic injustice, as discussed by Miranda Fricker, considers ways in which someone might be wronged in their capacity as a knower. Testimonial injustice occurs when there is a credibility deficit as a result of identity-prejudicial stereotypes. However, criticisms of Fricker (...) have pointed out that credibility is part of a more complex system that includes both deficits and excesses. I will use these points to argue that we should look closer at sources of credibility excess in cases of sexual assault. This means that in addition to considering sources of victim blaming by looking at ways in which “ideal” victims are constructed, we also need to consider ways in which “ideal” perpetrators are constructed. (shrink)
The logical empiricists often appear as a foil for feminist theories. Their emphasis on the individualistic nature of knowledge and on the value-neutrality of science seems directly opposed to most feminist concerns. However, several recent works have highlighted aspects of Carnap's views that make him seem like much less of a straightforwardly positivist thinker. Certain of these aspects lend themselves to feminist concerns much more than the stereotypical picture would imply.
Although the later Wittgenstein appears as one of the most influential figures in Davidson’s later works on meaning, it is not, for the most part, clear how Davidson interprets and employs Wittgenstein’s ideas. In this paper, I will argue that Davidson’s later works on meaning can be seen as mainly a manifestation of his attempt to accommodate the later Wittgenstein’s basic ideas about meaning and understanding, especially the requirement of drawing the seems right/is right distinction and the (...) way this requirement must be met. These ideas, however, are interpreted by Davidson in his own way. I will then argue that Davidson even attempts to respect Wittgenstein’s quietism, provided that we understand this view in the way Davidson does. Having argued for that, I will finally investigate whether, for Davidson at least, his more theoretical and supposedly explanatory projects, such as that of constructing a formal theory of meaning and his use of the notion of triangulation, are in conflict with this Wittgensteinian quietist view. (shrink)
We conjecture that corporate social responsibility can be indicative of managerial ethics and integrity and examine whether equity investors and financial analysts consider CSR performance when they assess firms’ disclosures of actual and forecasted earnings. We find that only adverse CSR performance affects investors’ assessments of these disclosures. In contrast, we find that both positive and adverse CSR performance affect analysts’ forecast revisions in response to firms’ disclosures. We also find that firms with adverse CSR performance exhibit lower disclosure quality (...) and earnings persistence, but do not find that firms with positive CSR performance exhibit higher levels of both measures. This asymmetric result is consistent with investors’, but not analysts’, assessments of the effect of CSR performance on corporate disclosures. Our results are robust to using a three-stage least squares approach to address endogeneity concerns and to a battery of robustness and sensitivity analyses. Overall, our findings suggest that investors and analysts consider CSR when assessing the information in earnings-related corporate disclosures. (shrink)
Donald Davidson's work has been of seminal importance in the development of analytic philosophy and his views on the nature of language, mind and action remain the starting point for many of the central debates in the analytic tradition. His ideas, however, are complex, often technical, and interconnected in ways that can make them difficult to understand. This introduction to Davidson's philosophy examines the full range of his writings to provide a clear succinct overview of his ideas. This (...) book begins with an account of the assumptions and structure of Davidson's philosophy of language, introducing his compositionalism, extensionalism and commitment to a Tarski-style theory of truth as the model for theories of meaning. It goes on to show how that philosophical framework is to be applied and how it challenges the traditional picture. Marc Joseph examines Davidson's influential work on action theory and events and discusses the commonly made charge that his theory of action and mind leaves the mental as a mere 'epiphenomenon' of the physical. The final section explores Davidson's philosophy of mind, some of its consequences for traditional views of subjectivity and objectivity and, more generally, the relation between minded beings and the physical and mental world they occupy. (shrink)
This paper is an examination of Donald Davidson's writings on the idea of a conceptual scheme--and idea which he famously rejects. O relevance in this is the notion of linguistic relativity and the famous Whorf-Sapir thesis.
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. (shrink)
Davidson attacks the intelligibility of conceptual relativism, i.e. of truth relative to a conceptual scheme. He defines the notion of a conceptual scheme as something ordering, organizing, and rendering intelligible empirical content, and calls the position that employs both notions scheme-content dualism. He argues that such dualism is untenable since: not only can we not parcel out empirical content sentence per sentence but also the notion of uninterpreted content to which several schemes are relative, and the related notion of (...) a theory ”fitting the evidence’, can be shown to lack intelligibility too. Davidson argues further that belief in incommensurable schemes or non-intertranslatable languages is possible only on violating a correct understanding of interpretability : if we succeed in interpreting someone else then we have shown there is no need to speak of two conceptual schemes, while if we fail ”there is no ground for speaking of two.’. (shrink)
Feminist epistemologies consider ways in which gender influences knowledge. In this article, I want to consider a particular kind of feminist empiricism that has been called feminist radical empiricism. I am particularly interested in this view's treatment of values as empirical, and consequently up for revision on the basis of empirical evidence. Proponents of this view cite the fact that it allows us to talk about certain things such as racial and gender equality as objective facts: not just whether we (...) have achieved said equality in our society, but whether we are, in fact, all equal. I will raise the concern that the way in which they model the role of values in epistemology may be a problematic idealization of the open-mindedness of human agents. In some cases, resistance to value-change cannot be diagnosed as a failure to respond adequately to evidence. If so, the strategy of empirically testing our values that some feminist radical empiricists suggest may not be as useful a tool for social change as they think. (shrink)
Many criticisms of epistemic logic have centered around its use of devices such as idealized knowers with logical omniscience and perfect self-knowledge. One possible response to such criticisms is to say that these idealizations are normative devices, and that epistemic logic tells us how agents ought to behave. This paper will take a different approach, treating epistemic logic as descriptive, and drawing the analogy between its formal models and idealized scientific models on that basis. Treating it as descriptive matches the (...) way in which some philosophers, including one of its founders, Jaako Hintikka, have thought about epistemic logic early in its history. Further, the analogy between the two fields will give us a way to defuse criticisms that see epistemic logic as unrealistic. For example, criticizing models of epistemic logic in which agents know all propositional tautologies as being unrealistic would be like criticizing frictionless planes in physics for being unrealistic. Each one would certainly be an unsuitable model for studying some kinds of phenomena, but is entirely appropriate for others. After outlining the analogy between epistemic and scientific models, we will discuss some ways in which idealizations are used by different research programs in epistemic logic. (shrink)
Donald Davidson's theory of mind is widely regarded as a normative theory. This is a something of a confusion. Once a distinction has been made between the categorisation scheme of a norm and the norm's force-maker, it becomes clear that a Davidsonian theory of mind is not a normative theory after all. Making clear the distinction, applying it to Davidson's theory of mind, and showing its significance are the main purposes of this paper. In the concluding paragraphs, a (...) sketch is given of how a truly normative Davidsonian theory of mind might be formulated. (shrink)
Despite Donald Davidson's influential criticism of the very notion of conceptual schemes, the notion continues enjoying its popularity in contemporary philosophy and, accordingly, conceptual relativism is still very much alive. There is one major reason responsible for Davidson's failure which has not been widely recognized: What Davidson attacks fiercely is not the very notion, but a notion of conceptual schemes, namely, the Quinean notion of conceptual schemes and its underlying Kantian scheme-content dualism. However, such a notion simply (...) cannot carry the weight of conceptual relativism for it does not catch the essences of conceptual relativism. Consequently, I argue that the very notion of conceptual schemes and conceptual relativism have survived Davidson's attack. Therefore, the failure of the Quinean notion of conceptual schemes and Kantian scheme-content dualism, even if Davidson can claim victory, does not mark the end of the very notion of conceptual schemes.[ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]. (shrink)
There are many good reasons to learn about the lives of people who have less social privilege than we do. We might want to understand their circumstances in order to have informed opinions on social policy, or to make our institutions more inclusive. We might also want to cultivate empathy for its own sake. Much of this knowledge is gained through social scientific or humanistic research into others' lives. The entitlement to theorize about or study the lives of marginalized others (...) is often granted under the presumption of academic freedom. This paper will not question whether academic freedom licenses us to do so in the first place ; instead, I will... (shrink)