Volume 11, 1998
Cognitive Semantics II
Gerhard Preyer, Michael Roth
On Donald Davidson’s Philosophy
Donald Davidson's unified theory of language and action can be understood as a continuation of the traditional analytic approach within philosophy of language and action. In the following we give an outline of some of the main themes of his philosophy centered around his core theory of radical interpretation (RI). His theory of rationality, his thesis of the anomalousness of the mental, and the externalist approach in his model of triangulation all follow in a systematic way from RI. Yet, Davidson's philosophy can also be seen as giving a new systematic elaboration of central perspectives of W,v.O Quine's theory of language. In order to follow Davidson's main theses one therefore has to clarify the main differences and correspondences between both approaches.