Nothing in the world, no object or event, would be true or false if there were not thinking creatures.— Donald Davidson
The most fulfilling Donald Davidson quotes that will activate your inner potential
There is no such thing as a language, not if a language is anything like what many philosophers and linguists have supposed. Thereis therefore no such thing to be learned, mastered, or born with. We must give up the idea of a clearly defined shared structure which language-users acquire and then apply to cases.
Conceptual relativism is a heady and exotic doctrine, or would be if we could make good sense of it. The trouble is, as so often in philosophy, it is hard to improve intelligibility while retaining the excitement.
If we cannot find a way to interpret the utterances and other behaviour of a creature as revealing a set of beliefs largely consistent and true by our standards, we have no reason to count that creature as rational, as having beliefs, or as saying anything.
Even if someone knew the entire physical history of the world, and every mental event were identical with a physical, it would notfollow that he could predict or explain a single mental event (so described, of course).
The dominant metaphor of conceptual relativism, that of differing points of view, seems to betray an underlying paradox. Differentpoints of view make sense, but only if there is a common co-ordinate system on which to plot them; yet the existence of a common system belies the claim of dramatic incomparability.
Mental events such as perceivings, rememberings, decisions, and actions resist capture in the net of physical theory.
There are three basic problems: how a mind can know the world of nature, how it is possible for one mind to know another, and how it is possible to know the contents of our own minds without resort to observation or evidence. It is a mistake, I shall urge, to suppose that these questions can be collapsed into two, or taken into isolation.
Terminological infelicities have a way of breeding conceptual confusion.