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Volume 11, 1998

Cognitive Semantics II

Gerhard Preyer
Pages 245-259

Interpretation and Rationality
Steps from Radical Interpretation to the Externalism of Triangulation

In recent years Donald Davidson has outlined main features of a “unified theory” of language and action. The article tries to lay open the central theoretical steps one has to take from his “radical interpretation” to his theory of rationality and his triangulation model of externalism. It is argued that Davidson's reinterpretation of Tarski's T - sentences can be used to show a fundamental symmetry between representation and expression of propositional contents. Yet, his theoretical framework has to be enriched to deal with the problem of contextualism that arises from his redescription of utterance meanings. The paper shows in order to elaborate Davidson's claim that rationality is a normative concept one has to address the question of an internal relationship between radical interpretation, rationality and externalism.

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