[SydPhil] University of Sydney Postgraduate Colloquium Aug 06

Tama Coutts Iliketora at rocketmail.com
Sun Aug 5 00:55:33 AEST 2012

Hey All,

The details for our first talk of semester two follow. 
My apologies for the slightly late notice.

Speaker: Tama Coutts

and Ludwig's Argument against Radical Interpretation

and Ludwig argue against radical interpretation in the following
fashion. Certain sentences are used to express claims as to when the
subject of radical interpretation holds true and does not hold true
sentences of her language. Call any such set of sentences a data set.
Let a sentence from some such set be: the subject holds true the
sentence s iff p. The radical interpreter aims to produce a truth
definition which generates a matching theorem: s is true iff p.
According to Davidson, if the radical interpreter is able to produce
a truth definition for a sufficiently rich (or perhaps, simply,
large) data set of sentences, we can say that s means that p.
However, if we are in a position to say this, we are in a position to
say that s means that q, where q is sentence with a radically
different meaning from p, Lepore and Ludwig claim. Why? Given the
(here unspecified) nature of original data set, it is possible to
produce another data set that equally well captures the evidence that
the data set must capture, but which pairs the subject's sentences
with radically different meanings (e.g. q). Lepore and Ludwig offer
five or six ways of producing these deviant data sets. In this paper
I aim simply to address these methods and show that none of them
work. There is a pleasant further pay-off which results from this
exercise, as we gain some deeper insight into radical interpretation
and Davidson's attempt to reconcile the contentful and the natural.

3pm, Mon Aug 06

Philosophy common-room, quadrangle building, University of Sydney
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