Reply to Foster - 12 Reply to Foster I t There is much with...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
12 Reply to Foster I t There is much with which I agree, and more I admire, in Mr Foster's paper. I share his bias in favour of extensional first-order languages; I am glad to keep himcompany in the search for an explicitly semantical theory that recursively accounts for the meanings sentences in terms their structures; and I am happy he concurs in holding a theory may be judged adequate on the basis holistic constraints. I especially applaud Foster for what he passes over: just as Lear gains power through the absence Cor delia, Ithink treatments oflanguage prosper when they avoid uncritical evocation the concepts convention, linguistic rule, linguistic practice, or language games. Still on the positive side, I think Foster is right in asking whether a proposed theory explicitly states something knowledge which would suffice for interpreting utterances speakers the language to which it applies. (I avoid the word 'mastery', and the special competence a speaker, if any, for reasons will not, I believe, affect our discussion.) I was slow to appreciate the importance this way formulating a general aim theories meaning, though elements the idea appear in several early papers mine. 1 I am grateful to a number Oxford friends for prompting me to try to clarify my views on this subject-and here I should especially mention Michael Dummett, Gareth Evans, John McDowell, and John Foster. In a paperfirst read in Biel,Switzerland, in May 1973,I criticized my own earlier attempts to say exactly what the relation is between a theoryoftruthanda theory meaning, and I tried todo better. 2 I read this paper again in Windsor (November 1973),and it became the basis 1 For example, Essays 1 and 2. 2 The paper mentioned is Essay 9.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
172 Radical Interpretation for much discussion in a seminar Michael Dummett and I gave in Oxford in Trinity Term, 1974. The criticisms I there levelled against my earlier formulation are (I believe) essentially those elaborated by Foster in the second part of his present paper, and my attempt at something better is among the views he attacks in the third part his paper. I am in general agreement with Foster that I have yet to give a completely satisfactory formulation what it is, on my approach, that it suffices to know in order to be able to interpret a speaker's utterances. On the other hand, I hope I am not as far ofT target as he thinks,and I am not persuaded by hisarguments that my'grand design isin ruins'. Indeed it still seems to me right, as far as it goes,to hold that someone is in a position to interpret the utterances speakers a language L if he has a certain body knowledge entailed by a theory truth for L-a theory that meets specified empirical and formal constraints-and he knows this knowledge is entailed by such a theory.
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 03/01/2008 for the course PHL 332 taught by Professor Dever during the Fall '07 term at University of Texas.

Page1 / 9

Reply to Foster - 12 Reply to Foster I t There is much with...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online