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Lecture 5

Lecture 5 - Davidson on conceptual schemes

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Patrice Philie

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Sept. 23, 2013 DAVIDSON – Coherentism Against Skepticism  student of Quine  argument against skepticism ‘A Coherence Theory of Truth and Knowledge’  explicit goal: show that belief is veridical by nature -  principal goal: provide an answer to the skeptic  there are at least 4 stages in the argument 4 Stages in Davidson’s Argument 1. The coherentist theory of justification 2. True beliefs of a person constitutes knowledge 3. Most of a person’s belief are true 4. Belief is intrinsically veridical FIRST STATE: Coherentist Theory or Justification Definition of the coherentist theory of justification: Only a belief can justify another belief -cannot appeal to experience, sense datum, impression, or saturation of nerve endings to justify beliefs (things given to us through the veil of appearances) -only rely on other beliefs to build new beliefs -beliefs cohere to the rest of beliefs -experience has a causal role, not a justifying role The schema of the argument backing up this thesis 1. If the thesis is false, then beliefs are justified by something else 2. Only other plausible candidate: intermediaries 3. Postulating intermediaries does not work 4. Therefore, only a belief can justify another belief SECOND STAGE: The Nature of True Beliefs Nature of true beliefs  Knowledge = justified true belief  Our beliefs are justified, because they’re coherent  We have: -established that only a belief can justify another belief -established that our true beliefs are true -we don’t know which are true, but they are justified and therefore they constitute knowledge THIRD STAGE: Most of a person’s beliefs are true  Strictly speaking, the third stage shows that: -we have to suppose that most of a person’s beliefs are true  Davidson uses his theory of interpretation Theory of interpretation  We start from the int
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