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Problems of Rationality$
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Donald Davidson

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198237549

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0198237545.001.0001

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Could There Be a Science of Rationality?

Could There Be a Science of Rationality?

Chapter:
(p.117) 8 Could There Be a Science of Rationality?
Source:
Problems of Rationality
Author(s):

Donald Davidson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198237545.003.0008

Asks whether there could be a science of rationality, and proposes as an answer — Davidson's own Unified Theory of speech and action, drawing heavily on formal decision theories for explaining intentional action laid out by Ramsey and Jeffrey, but expanding their theories by adding a theory of meaning. This method of radical interpretation interprets this Unified Theory empirically, which justifies the label ‘science of rationality’. In the remainder of the chapter, the author answers the criticisms levelled by Fodor and Chomsky that target Davidson's particular way of interpreting the Unified Theory empirically.

Keywords:   action, Noam Chomsky, decision theory, Jerry Fodor, radical interpretation, Frank Ramsey, rationality, Richard Jeffrey, science, speech, Unified Theory

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