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The limit of charity and agreement

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image of Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Radical interpretation is used by Davison in his linguistic theory not only as an interesting thought experiment but also a general pattern that is believed to be able to give an essential and general account of linguistic interpretation. If the principle of charity is absolutely necessary to radical interpretation, it becomes, in this sense, a general methodological principle. However, radical interpretation is a local pattern that is proper only for exploring certain interpretation in a specific case, and consequently the principle of charity is an applicable principle in the limited scope. It is neither the case that every linguistic interpretation is in nature radical nor that the principle of charity is the primary and fundamental principle for all linguistic interpretation as Davidson believes.


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