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Free Content Radical Interpretation, the primacy of communication, and the bounds of language

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In the first section of this paper I review the notion of Radical Interpretation, introduced by Donald Davidson in order to account for linguistic meaning and propositional thought. It is then argued that this concept, as embedded in Davidson's whole philosophical system, gives rise to a view of communication as a key explanatory concept in the social sciences. In the second section of the paper it is shown how this view bears upon the question as to what the bounds of linguistic behaviour are. As opposed to major psychological and sociological perspectives on language, Davidson's communication-centred position gives rise to an inclusive, context-dependent answer to this question.
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Keywords: Davidson; interpretation; philosophy of communication

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Tel Aviv University.

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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