Davidson is the main proponent of "truth-conditional semantics", which asserts the central place in the theory of meaning of a theory of truth.
With his "anomalous monism", Davidson promotes the token theory of identity: the same instance of a mental state may correspond to different neural states at different times. Given a mental state, it is not possible to relate it to a specific physical state. The same event may be both mental and physical, but there is no relationship between the two descriptions. There cannot be any relationship between the psychological vocabulary and the neurophysiological vocabulary.
Davidson's theory of the mind rests on three principles. At least some mental events interact causally with physical events (causal interaction). Events related as cause and effect fall under strict deterministic law (the nomological character of causality). There are no strict deterministic laws under which mental events can be predicted and explained (the anomalism of the mind). The physical and the mental realms have essential features which are somehow mutually incompatible. There can be no laws connecting the mental with the physical. Therefore there can be no theory connecting psychology and neurophysiology.
Davidson's conception of the mind is based on the intentional. Propositional attitudes constitute the basic vocabulary of the mind. Laws of the mind would then be laws expressed in terms of intentional expressions.
Davidson thinks that rationality (interpreting agents in terms of beliefs and desires) provides the sole criterion for psychological judgement. His view of the mental is holistic: the attribution of any mental state to a person requires that the total system of propositional attitudes be maximally coherent and rational.
Tarski simply replaced the universal and intuitive notion of "truth" with an infinite series of rules which define truth in a language relative to truth in another language. Davidson would rather assume that the concept of "truth" need not be defined, that it be known to everybody. Then he can use the corrispondential theory of truth to define meaning: the meaning of a sentence is defined as what would be if the sentence were true.
The task for a theory of meaning is then to generate all meta-sentences (or "T-sentences") for all sentences in the language through a recursive procedure. This account of meaning only relies on truth conditions.
A sentence is meaningful in virtue of being true under certain conditions and not others. To know the meaning of a sentence is to know the conditions under which the sentence would be true. A theory of a language must be able to assign a meaning to every possible sentence of the language. Just like Chomsky had to include a recursive procedure in order to explain speaker's unlimited ability to recognize sentences of the language, so Davidson has to include a recursive procedure in order to explain speaker's unlimited ability to understand sentences of the languages.
Natural languages exhibit an additional difficulty over formal languages: they contain deictic elements (demonstratives, personal pronouns, tenses) which cause truth value to fluctuate in time and speaker. Davidson therefore proposes to employ a pair of arguments for his truth predicate, one specifying the speaker and one specifying the point in time.
Language transmits information. The speaker and the listener share a fundamental principle to make such transmission as efficient as possible. Such "principle of charity" asserts that the interpretation to be chosen is the one in which the speaker is saying the highest number of true statements. During the conversation the listener tries to build an interpretation in which each sentence of the speaker is coupled with a truth-equivalent sentence.
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