Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Truth, Language, and HistoryPhilosophical Essays Volume 5$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Donald Davidson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198237570

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/019823757X.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 January 2020

Method and Metaphysics

Method and Metaphysics

Chapter:
(p.39) 3 Method and Metaphysics
Source:
Truth, Language, and History
Author(s):

Donald Davidson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019823757X.003.0003

This essay argues that semantics provides a method for metaphysics. If we have the semantics of a language right, the objects that we assign to the expressions of the language must exist. Two problems are explored. The first is the inscrutability of reference, the fact that there is an endless number of ways an interpreter can assign objects to the expressions of an interpretant’s language, all of which do equally well. The second problem is that in describing the semantics and hence the ontology of a language, we must appeal to the entities we think exist, which are just the entities that belong to the ontology of our language.

Keywords:   semantics, metaphysics, language, reference, ontology, Quine

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .