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Donald Davidson

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Donald Herbert Davidson (March 6, 1917 – August 30, 2003) was an American philosopher born in Springfield, Massachusetts, who served as Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley from 1981 to 2003 after having also held teaching appointments at Stanford University, Rockefeller University, Princeton University, and the University of Chicago. Davidson was known for his... more »

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  • Strange goings on! Jones did it slowly, deliberately, in the bathroom, with a knife, at midnight. What he did was butter a piece of toast. We are too familiar with the language of action to notice at ...
    Donald Davidson (b. 1917), U.S. Philosopher. Essays on Actions and Events, p. 105, Oxford University Press (1980).
  • Even if someone knew the entire physical history of the world, and every mental event were identical with a physical, it would not follow that he could predict or explain a single mental event (so des...
    Donald Davidson (b. 1917), U.S. philosopher of language. Essays on Actions and Events, p. 224 (1980). On the separateness of mental and physical l...
  • The dominant metaphor of conceptual relativism, that of differing points of view, seems to betray an underlying paradox. Different points of view make sense, but only if there is a common co-ordinate ...
    Donald Davidson (b. 1917), U.S. philosopher. Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, p. 184, Oxford University Press (1984).
  • Conceptual relativism is a heady and exotic doctrine, or would be if we could make good sense of it. The trouble is, as so often in philosophy, it is hard to improve intelligibility while retaining th...
    Donald Davidson (b. 1917), U.S. philosopher. Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, p. 183, Oxford University Press (1984).
  • The methodological advice to interpret in a way that optimizes agreement should not be conceived as resting on a charitable assumption about human intelligence that might turn out to be false. If we c...
    Donald Davidson (b. 1917), U.S. Philosopher. Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, p. 137, Oxford University Press (1984).
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