Manual Quine and Davidson on Language, Thought and Reality

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Donald Davidson

His discussion includes interesting comparisons of Quine andDavidsonwith other philosophers, particularlyWittgenstein. Glock also offers detailed accounts of central issues in contemporary analytic philosophy, such as whether philosophy is continuous with science, whether truth is a feature of sentences or propositions, whethermeaning and reference are indeterminate, whether language requires conventions, andwhether animals are capable of having beliefs and desires.

Subject to statutory exception and to the provision of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. A dangerous profession, since philosophers aremore easily discredited than platitudes, but a useful one. For when a good philosopher challenges a platitude, it usually turns out that the platitude was essentially right; but the philosopher has noticed trouble that one who did not think twice could not have met.


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In the end, the challenge is answered and the platitude survives, more often than not. But the philosopher has done the adherents of the platitude a service: he hasmade them think twice. Sluga and D. But part of the blame must lie with our protagonists.

They have many philosophical virtues. For this reason Glock focuses on the original statements, which are straightforward and provocative, and later deal with subsequent modifications 6.

Carlos Afonso

Rather, Davidson thinks that there is a fundamental difference between reason-based explanation and other causal explanations The book deals in great detail with a wide range of issues and is dense with argument. It will be impossible to summarize in this review the dialectics of even a single chapter.


  1. Review: Quine and Davidson on Language, Thought and Reality | Mind | Oxford Academic.
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  8. Glock reviews attempts by Quine to come up with extensional versions, but one of these leads to no commitments for false theories, and other variants have the consequence that any false existential claim, such as the existence of ether, commits one to Homeric gods and phlogiston. But Glock notes that paraphrasability in other terms does not entail eliminability. Further, the purported paraphrases may not be explicable in the absence of singular terms. On the one hand, his naturalism construes philosophical problems of existence as factual or internal.

    Noam Chomsky - Language and Thought

    Glock convincingly argues that Quine cannot show that intensional notions are obscure without appeal to the indeterminacy-of-translation arguments, which arguments Glock spends a great deal of time on in later chapters. His own positive account of analyticity is not obviously successful, although it is not obviously unsuccessful, either.

    Quine and Davidson on Language, Thought and Reality by Hans-Johann Glock - ebavohoton.tk

    An amusing story Glock recounts has it that the early French translator Labillardiere pressed natives for numerals for numbers higher than twenty. The expletives that he received in reply were taken to be those numerals.

    For Quinean translation to work, the natives had better read a translation of Word and Object! The final chapters of the book deal mostly with Davidson. While a convinced Davidsonian will probably not be budged, those not already convinced will come away thanking Glock for saving them the trouble of pursuing what would appear to be a doomed project.

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    Davidson: Philosophy of Language

    In the final chapter Glock deals with, among other issues, the question whether animals can have beliefs. Even convinced Davidsonians will read the latter half of the book with interest, if only to see a particularly clear and thorough attempt at dismantling various central aspects of the Davidsonian framework.

    Glock clearly agrees with much in Davidson.