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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.

Keywords: Davidson; interpretation; philosophy of communication

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ejpc.1.1.123/1

Affiliations: Tel Aviv University.

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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  • Empedocles aims to provide a publication and discussion platform for those working at the interface of philosophy and the study of communication, in all its aspects. This Journal is published in cooperation with the Section for the Philosophy of Communication of ECREA, the European Communication Reserach and Education Association.
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