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Davidson and Wittgenstein – a Homeric Struggle?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
2017 (English)In: Wittgenstein and Davidson on Language, Thought, and Action / [ed] Claudine Verheggen, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

P.F. Strawson famously contrasts two approaches to the question of what it is for words to have meaning: That of communication-intention theorists and that of formal semantics theorists. According to Strawson the later Wittgenstein and Davidson end up on opposite sides in this struggle since Wittgenstein, unlike Davidson, takes conventions to be essential to meaning. Several contemporary Wittgenstein scholars agree, among them Hans-Johann Glock and Meredith Williams. They suggest that Wittgenstein puts forth an essentially social picture of language, with the shared conventions at the center, while Davidson defends an individualistic picture that ultimately fails to account for the public nature of language. I shall argue that this description is importantly mistaken: Davidson and Wittgenstein both subscribe to the idea that meaning is determined by use, rather than by conventions, and they both take meaning to be essentially public and tied to its role in communication.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-141013DiVA: diva2:1085213
Available from: 2017-03-28 Created: 2017-03-28 Last updated: 2017-05-09

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