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Davidson, Interpretation and First‐Person Constraints on Meaning 1

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Abstract:

Donald Davidson's account of meaning and mind is thought to be overly third‐personal. Its interpreter‐relative treatment of thought and language neglects the contribution that first‐personal and sub‐personal aspects of a speaker's competence make to the significance of speech. However, Davidson's own work contains materials that point towards a more speaker‐centred account of meaning. I shall argue that by adding experience to Davidson's scenario of triangulation we can bridge the publicly interpretable content of a speaker's utterances and the immediate first‐person accessibility they have to the speaker.

Keywords: interpretation; meaning; publicity first‐person knowledge; rule‐following; triangulation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09672550600868709

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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