According to a common line of criticism, Donald Davidson’s argument in “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme” is invalid because it moves illicitly from the relatively weak thesis that conceptual schemes cannot be incommensurable to the stronger thesis that the idea of a conceptual scheme itself is incoherent. I argue in this paper that such objections fail because they misunderstand the position that Davidson’s argument is intended to rule out. According to the “scheme-content dualism” Davidson targets, conceptual schemes differ only if they are incommensurable with one another. Thus, if Davidson has successfully shown the idea of incommensurability to be incoherent (as the critics in question grant), then he has shown “the very idea of a conceptual scheme” to be incoherent, as well.
Acta Analytica – Springer Journals
Published: May 31, 2018
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