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Volume :14 Issue : 56 1996      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Davidson's Concept of Truth (in Arabic)

Auther : Salah Ismail

Truth is a matter of interest not only to philosophers, but to scientists and other researchers in various branches of knowledge. This paper examines Davidsons views of the concept of truth. Donald Davidson (1917 - ) is one of the centurys most influential philosophers.

In the first section, I provide a brief account of the basic ideas of Davidsons philosophy. An understanding of Davidsons philosophy is essential for anyone who wishes to follow recent debates in the philosophy of language, the philosophy of action, the philosophy of logic, and the philosophy of the mind. I give also a brief sketch of the leading traditional theories of truth, i.e., coherence, correspondence and pragmatic theories.

In the second section, I give a comprehensive account of Davidsons main contributions to the truth - the conditions theory of meaning. That the meaning of a sentence can be given by stating the conditions under which it is true, is not a novel idea. It is at least as old as the work of Frege. In addition to Frege, this idea has been held by, among others, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Quine and - as its leader apologist and most recent proponent - Davidson. Before I look at the details of Davidsons contributions, I show how they relate to the work of Frege, Tarski, and Quine, all of whom greatly influenced Davidsons theory.

Putnam, Dummett, Rorty and many other philosophers rank Davidson among the deflationists. They all think that Tarskis truth predicates completely capture the concept of truth. This is a mistake. The third section is concerned with this mistake.

In the fourth section, I explain Davidsons criticisms of what he regards as the main other anti-deflationary attempts to characterize truth: views which epistemologize truth on the one hand, and the correspondence theory of truth, on the other hand. Finally, in the fifth section, I make some remarks about Davidsons treatment of the concept of truth.

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