With a Foreword by Richard J. Bernstein and an Afterword by John Durham Peters
Edited By Jason Hannan
7 Donald Davidson: The Interpretational Constitution of Meaning ELI DRESNER 181
7 Donald Davidson The Interpretational Constitution of Meaning ELI DRESNER ________________________________________ Donald H. Davidson was born on March 6, 1917, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard in 1939, and during the Second World War served in the American Navy in the Mediterranean. After the war he returned to Harvard and completed a dissertation in classical philosophy in 1949. Davidson then taught at Queen’s College in New York (1949–51), Stanford (1951–67), Princeton (1967–70), Rockefeller (1970–76), the University of Chicago (1976–81), and the University of California at Berkeley, where he held a position from 1981 until his death in 2003. Davidson had a variety of interests beyond his work in philosophy: He was an accomplished pianist, had a pilot’s license, and during his many travels around the world engaged in mountain climbing and surfing. He was married three times; his third marriage was to the philosopher Marcia Cavell. Among the various sources of influence on Davidson’s thought the most notable is Willard V. Quine, whom Davidson described as his mentor and who was Davidson’s lifelong philosophical conversant and friend. It was through his early acquaintance with Quine at Harvard that Davidson became interested in the analytic tradition and the philosophy of language in particu- lar. Furthermore, Davidson commented on Quine’s Word and Object before its publication. As will be elaborated below, the ideas presented in this book had a substantial effect on the formation of Davidson’s own ideas about lan- guage. 182 | Eli Dresner During his work...
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