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Truth Theories, Competence, and Semantic Computation
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy. (Theoretical Philosophy)
2012 (English)In: Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the Mental / [ed] Gerhard Preyer, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, 1, 49-75 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The paper discusses the question whether T-theories explain how it is possible to understand new sentences, or learn an infinite language, as Davidson claimed. I argue against some commentators that for explanatory power we need not require that T-theories are implicitly known or mirror cognitive structures. I note contra Davidson that the recursive nature of T-theories is not sufficient for explanatory power, since humans can work out only what is computationally tractable, and recursiveness by itself allows for intractable computational complexity. I finally consider the complexity of T-theories, transformed into term rewriting systems, and find that the complexity of such systems is indeed tractable. Therefore Davidson's claim stands, even though a further condition had to be met.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, 1. 49-75 p.
Keyword [en]
Davidson, T-theories, competence, compositionality, recursiveness, computability, complexity, term rewriting, learnability, tractability
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Research subject
Theoretical Philosophy
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-85076ISBN: 978-0-19-969751-9OAI: diva2:582507
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P11-0590:1
Available from: 2013-01-08 Created: 2013-01-04 Last updated: 2013-01-09Bibliographically approved

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Pagin, Peter
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