New PDF release: A Companion to Donald Davidson

By Ernest Lepore, Kirk Ludwig

ISBN-10: 0470673702

ISBN-13: 9780470673706

A spouse to Donald Davidson offers newly commissioned essays by means of prime figures inside modern philosophy. Taken jointly, they supply a entire assessment of Davidson’s paintings throughout its complete diversity, and an review of his many contributions to philosophy.

  • Highlights the breadth of Davidson's paintings throughout philosophy
  • Demonstrates the continued impression his paintings has at the philosophical community
  • Includes newly commissioned contributions from best figures in modern philosophy
  • Provides an in-depth exposition and research of Davidson's paintings around the variety of parts to which he contributed, together with philosophy of motion, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind
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Additional resources for A Companion to Donald Davidson

Example text

The articles in a special issue of Philosophical Perspectives 3 (1989) and in Heil and Mele (1993)). What these authors complained about was that in order to defend the causal understanding of action explanations, it is not enough to show that mental events could be causes of physical events. What one has to prove is that they can cause something qua being mental, or to put it slightly different: one has to prove that mental properties could be causally relevant, that they are not merely epiphenomenal.

Explanations that merely point out the primary reason usually are not very interesting. According to Davidson, however, the more interesting explanations, which explain the action without explicitly mentioning the primary reason, still indicate a primary reason and thereby show what the agent saw in the action. )1 Michael Smith has called Davidson’s claim that there has to be a primary reason for every action the “Humean dogma” (Smith 1994: 92). It is not clear, however, whether recent debates on Humean (or internalist) versus Kantian (externalist) theories of motivation really are of concern for Davidson’s account, because his understanding of pro attitudes is presumably much broader than a typical “Humean” understanding of desires.

There are many different kinds of rationalizing explanations of actions. ” EAE 8), by using a “by”-sentence (By setting fire to the bedding, Smith burned down his house, EAE 47), or by pointing out the aim of the action (Smith burned down the house in order to collect the insurance, EAE 47). It is therefore not quite correct to object that Davidson only considers a special kind of sophisticated action explanation (Thompson 2008: 86); he is well aware of the 16 action explanation whole variety of everyday explanations.

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A Companion to Donald Davidson by Ernest Lepore, Kirk Ludwig

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