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Interpreting People and Interpreting Texts

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Abstract:

What is the relation between interpreting a person's speech and actions, on the one hand, and interpreting a written text, on the other? That question is considered in connection with the theories of interpretation offered by Donald Davidson and Paul Ricoeur. There are some important similarities between those theories. However, it is argued that Davidson and Ricoeur are divided on fundamental questions about the relation between meaning and intention, about the reference of texts, about the relation between the meanings of texts and the meanings of spoken words, and about the notion of correctness that applies to interpretation. On each of these points, it is contended, Davidson has the better of the dispute.

Keywords: Davidson; Ricoeur; action; interpretation; meaning; text

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09672550600858353

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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