Brain in a Vat Critique

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Donald Davidsons philosophical writings include a variety of essays that plays an important role in the realm of Philosophy of Action, Mind, and Language. His profound essay ‘Action, Reason, and Causes’ (1963) set about a standard for the action theory wherein he begins by claiming that ‘reason rationalizes the action’ and that this ‘rationalization’ of an agent (characterized as having a pro-attitude and a belief) is a ‘species of causal explanation’. In addition to this, Davidson’s significant contribution to the Philosophy of Mind is his concept of ‘Anomalous Monism’ which serves as a foundation of his philosophical work.

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Now, let us consider a sceptic argument of ‘Brain in a vat’, a fiction so created via scientific technique, as discussed by René Descartes1 and Hilary Putnam. Just to assume, what if we are all brains in a vat, ‘being fed electrical impulses by computers [as operated by scientist] – impulses that alter our brain states and thereby create pseudo-experiences, and beliefs’.2 If we regard this assumption to be true, then the hypothesis of ‘Brain in a Vat’ in prospect brings with it the illusion of experience of performing an action and having some beliefs (that are actually being imposed by the scientist).

Here, two positions are considered- one, Davidson’s theory of Belief and Action and, other, the sceptical hypothesis of being a ‘Brain in a Vat’. So, considering Davidson’s philosophical approach towards human actions, beliefs, and thoughts; in this paper, I intend to figure out his response to this given- assumed- situation of ‘Brain in a Vat’ and the extent to which he can dissipate such sceptical argument, in order to justify his theory.

I have divided my paper in three main sections wherein section I is an overview of Davidson’s philosophy followed up by section II which takes into account the exposition of ‘Brain in a vat’ argument. And finally, section III which shows Davidson’s dissipation of such a sceptical hypothesis.

I. An Overview of Davidson’s Philosophy

Davidson is accredited of presenting a suave philosophical account of interpreting human actions that depicts the very existence of human beings and so can be expressed as a means of self- expression.3 He maintained that every action that an agent perform (under a description) has a primary reason involved, inclusive of a ‘pro-attitude’ (, i.e., desires, wants, urges) and a ‘belief’ (, i.e., knowing, perceiving). This constitutes the ‘rationalization’ of an agent (as governed by reason) which Davidson argues is a ‘species of causal explanation’. This can be formulated as:

‘R is a primary reason why an agent performed the action A under the description d only if R consists of a pro attitude of the agent towards actions with a certain property, and a belief of the agent that A, under the description d, has that property’.4

So it can be said that the essential point in Davidson’s approach towards action is that an action so performed by the agent is voluntary in nature; it is an intentional act performed with reason, under a particular description. But, here, Davidson pointed out that to know the primary reason of an action so performed by the agent is to know the intention of an agent in performing the action, but the converse is not necessarily true.5 Moreover, he emphasized on the ‘role of causal concepts in the description and explanation of human action’6 which brings with it the foremost concern that even ‘primary reason for an action is its cause’.7 There is a proper pattern of cause and effect that is involved in explanation of an action that connects the physical event being performed with the mental event (or intention) of an agent.

Now, a question can be asked as to what is this ‘Mental’ that Davidson is talking about? What does he mean by ‘Mental’? Simon Evnine has clearly explained this notion by characterizing mental states into sensations (that an agent may feel) and the intentionality – which includes beliefs, desires (that are also referred as propositional attitudes). Davidson is primarily concerned with the propositional attitudes that have propositional content and so has confined himself to the ‘content-bearing’, propositional states8. As he said:

‘The distinguishing feature of the mental is not that it is private, subjective, or immaterial, but that it exhibits what Brentano called Intentionality.’9

Moreover, mental states can be analysed from two perspectives: the first-person point of view and the third-person point of view. The former is according to agent’s sensations and the latter is in accord with propositional attitudes that is pertinent to Davidson’s view. This is because, as Evnine mentioned, understanding in terms of rationality is a distinctive human activity (or is a communal activity) which is ‘in principle public and observable to all’. And the states like belief, desire play an important role in this way.10

Also, two kinds of laws are generally considered in relation to the ‘Mental’ – the psychophysical laws that connect mental states to physical states; and the psychological laws that connect mental states to mental states itself. Davidson denies the value or presence of both these laws and this is what he has in his mind when he talks about ‘The Anomalism of the Mental’. As he writes,

‘. . . The causal dependence, and the anomalousness, of mental events are undeniable facts.’11

Thereby, Davidson advocated his theory of ‘Anomalous Monism’ which exhibits the fact that mental states or events cannot be given ‘purely physical explanations’; such that ‘not all events are mental, while . . . all events are physical’.12 This may mean that, since there is a ‘categorical difference’ between the mental and the physical state, it is regarded that there cannot be any strict psychophysical law. As he stated in his essay ‘Mental Events’ (1970):

‘It is a feature of physical reality that physical change can be explained by the laws that connect it with other changes and conditions physically described. It is a feature of the mental that the attribution of mental phenomenon must be responsible to the background of reasons, beliefs, and intention of the individual. There cannot be tight connections between the realms if each is to retain allegiance to its proper source of evidence.’13

Davidson pointed out that, although the two states of mental and physical cannot be connected with any particular law, in spite of having some causal interaction between them, yet it can be said that the characterisations of mental events somehow depend on the characterisation of physical events. This may be termed as ‘Supervenience’, i.e., ‘an object cannot alter in some mental respect without altering in some physical respect’.14 But this does not imply any sort of reducibility whatsoever.

Further, as it has been observed that Davidson is primarily concerned with the interpretation of human actions, wherein both mental and the physical state or event has a distinctive role to pay, the next consideration demands the specific attribute of ‘interpretation’ itself. The question may be asked: what makes interpretation possible? What is the role of understanding in interpretation? Given a situation, what if you land up in a place you are completely unaware of. You cannot understand the language or utterance of the people (of that unknown place) and so you are unable to interpret their happenings or the behaviour of the people of the unknown environment. This implies that without understanding, no interpretation is ever possible. In order to interpret the actions of the people (of the unknown place), ‘to attribute beliefs, desires and other mental states to them, to assign meaning to their utterances and say what they are doing, we have to begin from scratch’.15 Thereby, Davidson posits the problem of interpretation and maintained that ‘All understanding of the speech of another involves radical interpretation’.16

So, having a great influence of Quine’s ‘Radical Translation’, Davidson advocated (a little different) doctrine of ‘Radical Interpretation’ wherein the interpreter tries to understand the actions of the people, allocating meaning to their sayings, according to the environment they are living in. In a way, Radical Interpretation, as Evnine explained, is a ‘theoretical exercise designed to reveal the interrelations between the various intentional, or propositional states and events like beliefs, desires, linguistic utterances and actions, and the relation between these states and events and non-intentional states, and events such as brain states, noises; marks on paper and bodily movements.’17

Now, Radical Interpretation has been credited of having two features- Normativity and Holism. Normative principles are general principles that is applicable to every other person in concern which deals with the question, ‘how things should or ought to be?’ Davidson claims that radical interpretation should be guided by normative principles for mental states can justify other mental states, having an assumption that the person concerned is rational. So rationalization has an essential role in terms of attribution of mental states. However, rationality, here, is restricted in the sense of its relation to the world and actions being performed.18

Secondly, regarding the holistic feature of radical interpretation, it is claimed that mental states are adhered only in relation to other mental states. The attribution of the mental states is based on the behaviour of the agent performing actions, but such attribution is not fixed and so must be made according to the attributes of other mental states. So in the light of other attributions, the reason for an action can be considered.19 Thereby, it can be said that in Davidson’s view ‘actions and mental states mesh together in a holistic network . . . a web in which everything is connected, either directly or indirectly, to everything else’.20

Thus, Davidson’s account of interpretation as normative and holistic is about rational interpretation and attribution of mental states only. But this does not mean that no error in terms of interpretation is ever possible for there can be a gap between interpretation of belief of someone and his actual belief. This brings us to take into account the ‘indeterminacy’ of interpretation which allows the possibility of having more than one set of interpretation.

Moving on, can we say, in Davidsonian context- Is there any connection between Interpretation and Anomalous Monism? Quite obviously, there is a strong connection between Interpretation and Anomalous Monism that yields a correct analysis of utterance of the speaker. To explain this- utterance is an action, and so an event, and to interpret a certain event, we ought to describe it. And this description gives the meaning of the uttered sentence. So, in context of Interpretation and Anomalous Monism, we are concerned with events and descriptions. Events, in themselves, are opaque and meaningless. But they can be seen as intentional actions or mental events only when they are described in a certain way.21 As Davidson writes: ‘we interpret a bit of linguistic behaviour when we say what a speaker’s words mean on an occasion of use. The task may be seen as one of redescription.’22

Now, Radical Interpretation occurs only when the interpreter is able to understand the unknown language for which meaning of language is very important as the essence of language lies in understanding and its usage. But how can we account for the truthfulness of the sentences being uttered by the speaker? Or, how can we account for the validity of the interpretation itself? In order to answer this, Davidson accommodated ‘The Principle of Charity’, i.e., an assumption that the speaker’s utterances will be counted as true, in terms of his belief as well as his meaning. For the belief of the speaker and the meaning of the sentence incorporates the truthfulness of the sentences being uttered by the speaker. The underlying thought of this principle is the fact that given this Principle of Charity, it is generally assumed that the speaker’s utterances will be regarded as true and rational. Although even this assumption is guided by rationality (in broader context), however, the Principle of Charity also include the possibility of mistaken beliefs for its base is assumption only.

The point is that The Principle of Charity cannot be sidelined if we are to adhere to Radical Interpretation, in Davidsonian context. This is so because the ‘concept of belief, desire, meaning and intentional action are defined by what the theory, the principle of charity, says about them.’23 But, even The Principle of Charity, which has been adopted as an across-the-board basis24, can be sorted out into two main principles – The Principle of Correspondence and The Principle of Coherence. The former principle takes into account the assumption of the truthfulness of the speaker’s utterance’s per se whereas, the latter principle takes into account ‘the principles governing attribution of attitudes to an agent and description of the agent’s behaviour so as to make the agent out to be by and large rational.’25

Also, Davidson in concern with epistemology upholds the position that ‘coherence yields correspondence’; wherein coherence allows a set of true beliefs of an agent (as guided by his rationality and understanding). Again assumption plays a central role here as well, as he said:

‘There is a presumption in favour of the truth of a belief that coheres with a significant mass of belief. Every belief in a coherent total set of beliefs is justified in the light of this presumption, much as every intentional action taken by a rational agent . . . is justified.’26

However, it should be noted that Truth is not to be defined specifically in terms of coherence and belief, for truth is primitive, according to Davidson, and is always in relation of correspondence with the existing world. More so, in spite of adhering to his coherence theory as assuming the truthfulness of beliefs of an agent, Davidson accepts the possibility of even coherent set of false beliefs that an agent may have because of ‘the gap between what is held to be true and what is true.’27

II. Being a ‘Brain in a vat’

The sophisticated form of the sceptical hypothesis of being a ‘Brain in a vat’ in prospect has been addressed by Hilary Putnam in ‘Reason, Truth and History’ (1981). This possibility urges us to assume, what if we are really brains in a vat? , i.e., what if the experiences (or sensations) I am currently having is as per the scientist’s wish? In other words, the argument of ‘Brain in a Vat’ as stated by Putnam, says:

‘A human being . . . has been subjected to an operation by an evil scientist. The person’s brain . . . has been removed from the body and placed in a vat of nutrients which keeps the brain alive. The nerve endings have been connected to a super- scientific computer which causes the person whose brain is to have the illusion that everything is perfectly normal.’28

This implies that a being can never know that he is not a brain in a vat because it might be the case that the experience he is having is being fed to him by the scientist, and that his ‘experience is ex-hypothesi identical with that of something which is not a brain in a vat.’29

Although Putnam considered such a fictional argument that has its space in some ‘physically possible world’, however, he denies the practical possibility of the sceptical argument by regarding it to be ‘self-refuting’ in nature.30 I shall take up this view of Putnam later, for as of now my main focus is to assume the situation of being a ‘Brain in a Vat’ to be true wherein all that the ‘person is experiencing is the result of electronic impulses travelling from the computer to the nerve endings . . . that if the person tries to raise his hand, the feedback from the computer will cause him to ‘see’ and ‘feel’ the hand being raised.’31 This may mean that the person is, as though, performing an action (of raising his hand) or having a sensation or feeling; in spite of being a brain as merely placed in a vat.

In addition, another case of such a scientific fiction that can be put forward is that of Turing’s Test – a test that can judge whether a computer (or machine) is ‘conscious’ or not? Turing advocated the following test: ‘let someone carry on a conversation with the computer and a conversation with a person whom he does not know. If he cannot tell which is the computer and which is the human being, then . . . the computer is conscious . . . the conversations are all carried on via electric type-writer.’32 The point that Turing maintained is that even a machine can be qualified as being ‘conscious’, having thoughts, if it passes the test. But even the test that Turing advocated is criticized for the very fact that there is a gap between the concept of being ‘conscious’ and the computer’s technical language.

Now, as having considered the point that even a ‘Brain in a Vat’ (in some sense) is performing some action or is having some belief that may have (in his perspective) some rationalization of his performing an action; although in actuality, those experiences are all being induced by the scientist. Here, let us consider that given this assumed-situation of being a ‘Brain in a Vat’ to Davidson; let us figure out his response towards such a sceptical position. Quite obviously, Davidson dissipates such a position, but let us see how.

III. Against ‘Brain in a vat’ – A Davidsonian version

The very assumption of being a ‘Brain in a Vat’ brings with itself the practical difficulties that can never be accounted for. The reason being that it is a mere scientific technique, a fiction that induces the illusion of having experiences, beliefs or performing actions, to the brain as kept in a created- scientific- environment, a vat. Putnam, himself, attributed such a hypothesis to be ‘self-refuting’ in nature, and explicitly denies any junction between the brain in a vat world and the actual world.33 But, since my concern is with Davidson’s version, let us consider his objection against this sceptical hypothesis with special reference to his Coherence Theory.34

Davidson assumed (and so asserted) that there are coherent set of true beliefs, however, he never rejected the fact that there can also be coherent set of false beliefs. He maintained that beliefs can be false as well but the very concept of false beliefs introduces a potential gap between what is regarded as being true and what is actually true.35 Although the possibility of having false beliefs is minimum in Davidson’s context, yet this can be viewed directly against the ‘Brain in a Vat’ hypothesis as the brain that has been placed in a vat- a created scientific environment, have illusory beliefs merely based on some sensory stimulations* [1] that are surely false, and the very fact that the brain in a vat have false beliefs itself shows that there is a practical- potential- gap between the created world of brain in a vat and the actual rational world of human beings. Even Putnam explained this by saying that there is ‘no qualitative similarity between the thought of the brain in a vat and the thought of someone in the actual world.’36

Secondly, to consider Quine’s view, he said that ‘the meaning . . . [of] sentence is determined by the patterns of sensory stimulations that would cause a speaker to assent to or dissent from the sentence.’37 Davidson argues that such an account will invite scepticism leading to the falsity of every sentence whatsoever. As he said, ‘when meaning goes epistemological in this way, truth and meaning are necessarily divorced.’38 He asserts that sensory stimulations can never be regarded as an evidence or justification for the belief (which is ‘veridical’ in nature). In his words:

‘Quine . . . ties the meanings of some sentences directly to patterns of stimulations . . . but the meanings of further sentences are determined by how they are conditioned to the original, or observation sentences. The facts of such conditioning do not permit a sharp division between sentences held true by virtue of meaning and sentences held true on the basis of observation . . . I now suggest [to give up] the distinction between observation sentences and the rest. For the distinction between sentences belief in whose truth is justified by sensations and sentences belief in whose truth is justified only by appeal to other sentences held true is as anathema to the conherentist as the distinction between beliefs justified by sensations and beliefs justified only by appeal to further beliefs. Accordingly, I suggest we give up the idea that meaning or knowledge is grounded on something that counts as an ultimate source of evidence. No doubt meaning and knowledge depend on experience and experience ultimately on sensation. But this is the ‘depend’ of causality, not of evidence or justification.’39

This, again, can be posited against ‘Brain in a Vat’ hypothesis for the hypothesis, in itself, invokes vague- sensory stimulations which go against the possibility of having any valid stimulated belief. As a result, the stimulated belief of a brain which is placed in a created – scientific – environment of a vat is false.

Moreover, to determine the content of a belief, Davidson endorsed the view that in radical interpretation, we should identify the object of a belief with the cause of that belief. This view can also be directed against ‘Brain in a Vat’ hypothesis. The reason being that according to the sceptic, the content of brain’s belief is not dependent on their causes.40 But this is not acceptable to Davidson as, for him, ‘causality plays an indispensable role in determining the content of what we say and believe.’41 And as interpreters, we must consider the belief of a brain in a vat in accordance with its actual environment, the environment that causes those beliefs, with special reference to The Principle of Charity. So in the case of a brain in a vat, Davidson claims that one must have knowledge of computer’s technical environment. He argues that though the brain is functioning and is having a sensation of performing some action with an illusory belief, but the brain is only reacting to the features of its environment which is, in actuality, a computer’s technical data storehouse. So, therefore, the only way to interpret those actions is to correlate it with the bits of data that the computer is feeding in.42 And such an action cannot have any logical- valid- interpretation in a rational behaviouristic sense of being human.

Further, just to consider Turing’s Test (as explained earlier in section II), Davidson argues against the Turing’s test of machines claiming them to be conscious. He gave an example of John, a rational human being and Robo-John, artificially created John proxy. Davidson explains that John is causally connected to the actual things outside in the actual world. But Robo-John is not causally connected with the things outside in the actual world. And so, unlike John, Robo-John does not think. Thus, Turing is wrong as John does think whereas his proxy Robo-John does not.43 If this is the case, then it is applicable to the ‘Brain in a Vat’ argument as well (in terms of actions), for in such a created- scientific- situation there is no causal connection between the brain (as placed in a created environment) and the actual world.

Lastly, Davidson’s objection to this sceptical hypothesis can also be posited with the help of the notion of understanding. As Davidson maintained that the coherence theory is about ‘beliefs or sentences held true by someone who understands them.’44 But it can be questioned that does ‘Brain in a Vat’ have any understanding as it involves rationalization pertaining to the normal human behaviour? There is a strong doubt that the functional brain which is placed in a vat is able to understand any activity, in spite of being induced the sensations, the beliefs by the scientist. So even though the hypothesis is accredited of performing some action which is a mere ‘illusion’, it will not have any capacity to understand things accordingly.

Conclusion

Thus it can be said that Davidson’s position of an action being performed by an agent, that has a proper belief and pro attitude, is about a rational human agent living in this actual real world of human beings who are guided by reasons. It is certainly not about a brain being placed in a scientific- created- environment, a vat and, then, having an illusion of performing an action and having some illusory beliefs and sensations – that are actually being induced by the scientist. Whatever actions or beliefs that a ‘Brain in a Vat’ is experiencing is not grounded on any primary reason, for the brain in concern is merely having false beliefs of experiencing the reality, the false belief of performing some action, it is a case of mere illusion, hallucination that does not have place in Davidson’s project. More so, since there cannot be any connection between the brain in a vat world and the actual world of beings, Davidson dissipates the position of being a ‘Brain in a Vat’ whose scientific, computer- created- environment is completely opposed to that of being human and so can never be interpreted in accord with our behavioural patterns and the actions of human agents, as even to interpret the actions of someone, we need to attribute some beliefs in a holistic network according to our rationality. But this seems infirm in the case of brain in a vat. Though the brain placed in a vat is having a belief of performing some ‘false’ action, still is restricted in his small created domain and so interpreting his actions will be determined in terms of his computer oriented environment which again is being created by a scientist and is contrary to the world of being human per se and hence, is not at par with the rationality of humans as well. And so to understand and interpret the actions or language of a brain placed in a vat in a holistic way would be like interpreting the actions of a swimmer (while swimming) without even knowing what basic technique is required to swim. Hence, the actions of a ‘Brain in a Vat’ is merely envision without having any substantial ground. For Davidson claims:

‘If we cannot find a way to interpret the utterances and other behaviour of a creature as revealing a set of beliefs largely consistent and true by our own standards, we have no reason to count that creature as rational, as having beliefs, or as saying anything.’45

Reference Notes

1 See Concept of ‘Evil Demon’ by René Descartes, Meditations on First

Philosophy, Trans. John Veitch, (Watchmaker Publishing, USA, 2010), 97-103

2 Richard Rorty, ‘Davidson versus Descartes’; in Dialogues with Davidson:

Acting, Interpreting, Understanding, ed. by Jeff Malpas, (Cambridge: The

MIT Press, London, 2011), 3

3 Simon Evnine, Donald Davidson, (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991), 39

4 See Davidson’s essay ‘Action, Reason and Causes’ in Donald Davidson,

Essays on Action and Events, second edition (Oxford: Larendon Press, 2001),

3-5

5 Ibid. , 7

6 Donald Davidson, Essays on Action and Events, second edition (Oxford:

Larendon Press, 2001), xv

7 See Davidson’s essay ‘Action, Reason and Causes’ in Donald Davidson,

Essays on Action and Events, second edition (Oxford: Larendon Press, 2001),

4

8 Simon Evnine, Donald Davidson, (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991), 7-8

9 See Davidson’s essay ‘Mental Events’ in Donald Davidson,

Essays on Action and Events, second edition (Oxford: Larendon Press, 2001),

211

10 Simon Evnine, Donald Davidson, (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991), 9

11 See Davidson’s essay ‘Mental Events’ in Donald Davidson,

Essays on Action and Events, second edition (Oxford: Larendon Press, 2001),

207

12 Ibid. , 214

13 Ibid. , 222

14 Ibid. , 214

15 Simon Evnine, Donald Davidson, (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991), 10

16 See Davidson’s essay ‘Radical Interpretation’ in Donald Davidson, Inquiries

into Truth and Interpretation, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), 125

17 Simon Evnine, Donald Davidson, (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991), 10-11

18 Ibid. , 11-12

19 Ibid. , 14-16

20 Ibid. , 39

21 Ibid. , 99

22 See Davidson’s essay ‘Belief and the basis of Meaning’ in Donald Davidson,

Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), 141

23 Simon Evnine, Donald Davidson, (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991), 113

24 See Davidson’s essay ‘Belief and the basis of Meaning’ in Donald Davidson,

Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), 153

25 Kirk Ludwig, ed., Donald Davidson, (Cambridge University Press, 2003), 17

26 See Davidson’s essay ‘A Coherence theory of Truth and Knowledge’ in

Truth and Interpretations: perspectives on the Philosophy of Donald

Davidson, ed., Ernest LePore, (Basil Blackwell Ltd., 1986), 308

27 Ibid. , 308

28 Hilary Putnam, ‘Brain in a vat’, in Epistemology: Contemporary Readings,

ed., Michael Huemer, (Routledge, 2002), 527

29 Jonathan Dancy, An Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology, (Blackwell

Publications, 1985), 10

30 Hilary Putnam, ‘Brain in a vat’, in Epistemology: Contemporary Readings,

ed., Michael Huemer, (Routledge, 2002), 528

31 Ibid. , 527

32 Ibid. , 529

33 Ibid. , 532

34 Davidson never directly attacked or objected ‘Brain in a vat’ argument in any

of his work. I have tried to postulate the objections that Davidson might have

against such a fictional possibility and the so called illusory actions being

performed.

35 See Davidson’s essay ‘A Coherence theory of Truth and Knowledge’ in

Truth and Interpretations: perspectives on the Philosophy of Donald

Davidson, ed., Ernest LePore, (Basil Blackwell Ltd., 1986), 308

36 Hilary Putnam, ‘Brain in a vat’, in Epistemology: Contemporary Readings,

ed., Michael Huemer, (Routledge, 2002), 532

37 See Davidson’s essay ‘A Coherence theory of Truth and Knowledge’ in

Truth and Interpretations: perspectives on the Philosophy of Donald

Davidson, ed., Ernest LePore, (Basil Blackwell Ltd., 1986), 313

38 Ibid. , 313

39 Ibid. , 313-314

40 Simon Evnine, Donald Davidson, (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991), 142-143

41 See Davidson’s essay ‘A Coherence theory of Truth and Knowledge’ in

Truth and Interpretations: perspectives on the Philosophy of Donald

Davidson, ed., Ernest LePore, (Basil Blackwell Ltd., 1986), 317

42 Richard Rorty, ‘Davidson versus Descartes’; in Dialogues with Davidson:

Acting, Interpreting, Understanding, ed. by Jeff Malpas, (Cambridge: The

MIT Press, London, 2011), 4

43 John-Michael Kuczynski, Davidson on Turing: Rationality Misunderstood?,

(Principia 9, 1-2, 2005), accessed October 07, 2012;

http://www.periodicos.ufsc.br , 114-115

44 See Davidson’s essay ‘A Coherence theory of Truth and Knowledge’ in

Truth and Interpretations: perspectives on the Philosophy of Donald

Davidson, ed., Ernest LePore, (Basil Blackwell Ltd., 1986), 308

45 See Davidson’s essay ‘Radical Interpretation’ i

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