By Ernest Lepore, Kirk Ludwig

A spouse to Donald Davidson offers newly commissioned essays by way of top figures inside modern philosophy. Taken jointly, they supply a entire assessment of Davidson’s paintings throughout its complete diversity, and an review of his many contributions to philosophy.

  • Highlights the breadth of Davidson's paintings throughout philosophy
  • Demonstrates the ongoing effect his paintings has at the philosophical community
  • Includes newly commissioned contributions from top figures in modern philosophy
  • Provides an in-depth exposition and research of Davidson's paintings around the diversity of parts to which he contributed, together with philosophy of motion, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind
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Extra info for A Companion to Donald Davidson

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Accordingly there is no causal role for mental properties, unless they are in fact physical properties, which leads to his criticism of so-called token identity theories (like Davidson’s) and to his defense of type identity theories. From Davidson’s perspective, however, this objection is misguided right from the beginning. Since properties are strictly speaking not part of his ontology at all, he need not worry about their causal relevance or inertness. Moreover, as he frequently emphasizes, he rejects the whole idea of an event causing another qua having a certain property or qua being an exemplification of a property (TLH 188).

Actions and Events, B. B. Hintikka (eds). Oxford: Oxford UP. ———. (1993). Reply to Ralf Stoecker. In Reflecting Davidson, R. ). Berlin; New York: De Gruyter. ———. (1999). Reply to Jennifer Hornsby. E. ). Chicago; LaSalle, IL: Open Court. Dretske, F. (1989). Reasons and causes. Philosophical Perspectives 3:1–15. Follesdal, D. (1985). Causation and explanation: a problem in Davidson’s view on action and mind. In Actions and Events, E. P. McLaughlin (eds). Oxford: Basil Blackwell. G. (1988). The problem of action.

Therefore, beliefs and desires as causal powers can causally explain an action without being events. Of course, in order for the explanation to be true there have to be some causally efficacious events that cause the action, for example, the onslaught of a desire or a glimpse of the desired object, and so on. But frequently, we have no idea what the particular event was and still can easily explain the action by rationalizing it. The account also furthers a better understanding of the phenomenon of “wayward causal chains,” since it can be shown that the phenomenon is an instance of a general feature of explanations by dispositions and causal powers.

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