Donald Davidson dies

Date: Mon Sep 01 2003 - 22:02:45 GMT

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    From the Leiter Reports: Editorials, News, Updates, at

    August 31, 2003.
    Donald Davidson dies
    Donald Davidson (1917-2003)
    Professor Davidson died yesterday [August 30, 2003] in Berkeley, California.

       J L Speranza

    From Carston, Thoughts & Utterances:

    "Some formidable able minds have maintained that a pragmatic theory isn ot possible, that communication and interpretation are not topics which submit to scientific study. Donald Davidson (1986) observes that 'the interpreter' includes everything that people might know and are capable of doing, so nothing sensible can be said about it. ... By a theory of 'the interpreter', ... Davidson mean[s] something very much like a pragmatic theory." (p. 1) "Davidson (1967, 1970) tried out the following two possibilities [regarding 'ambiguity']: (i) For any a, 'is a bank' is true of a in English iff a is a bank, (ii) 'John went to the bank' is true for an English speaker x at time t iff either John went to a financial institution and the circumstances surrounding x at t meet condition C, or John went to the wall of the river channel before t and the circumstances surrounding x at t meet condition D" (Carston, p. 84, n.4). "[My] view of the main clause cases is directly at odds with Davidson's (1968) paratactic analysis of indirect speech" (Carston, p. 211, n.20).

    From Sperber/Wilson, Relevance:

    "In 1957, Paul Grice published an article, 'Meaning', which has been the object of a great many controversies, interpretations, and revisions (See ... Davidson 1984a)" (p.21, n.11).

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