MA alum Andrew Parker to give talk at York grad conference

Andrew will be giving a talk Friday at York as part of their 5th Annual Philosophy Graduate Conference.  Andrew, we’ll miss it because we’ll all be busy with the WLU MA conference that same day.  But we wish you well!

Abstract:

11-11:45 Hacker’s Davidson

 Andrew Parker (Wilfrid Laurier)

Commentator: Olivia Sultanescu (York)

In his paper “On Davidson’s Idea of a Conceptual Scheme” P.M.S Hacker takes issue with Donald Davidson’s argument against “incommensurable conceptual schemes” as presented in “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme”.  Hacker’s aim is to undermine Davidson’s claim that “there is no such thing as a ‘conceptual scheme’” by showing that failure in translation reveals “incommensurable conceptual schemes”. Hacker’s strategy to save incommensurable conceptual schemes is to argue- contra Davidson- that there can be untranslatable languages. Although Hacker rejects Davidson’s salient point- that nothing can force us to decide if a disagreement between interlocutors lies in their beliefs rather than their concepts- I will argue that Hacker begs the question by postulating a non-empirical conceptual scheme in his account of incommensurability. Davidson makes the claim that there are many different ways of talking about one and the same world (and we could have many more) and that rather than saying the truth of a given statement is relative to a “conceptual scheme” we can say the truth of a given statement is relative to the language to which the utterance belongs.

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