<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>McGinn (Colin) - Charity, Interpretation, and Belief (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_20/PaperSummary_20506.htm">Charity, Interpretation, and Belief</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/M/Author_McGinn (Colin).htm">McGinn (Colin)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 74, No. 9 (Sep., 1977), pp. 521-535</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=400><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_20/PaperSummary_20506.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><U>Author s Introduction</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>It is generally agreed that a principle of charity should play some part in regulating the project of radical interpretation. But it is a question what status such a principle enjoys. Donald Davidson has urged that charity with respect to the beliefs and sayings of others is a <em>sine qua non</em> of successful translation; more, that unless we see to it that veracity preponderates in a creature's attitudes and utterances we cannot construe its behavior as that of a rational agent or psychological subject.</li><li>The claim, then, is that charity as a methodological precept is to be insisted on because we know in advance, by a transcendental argument of some sort, that most of what others say and believe is going to be true (according of course to our own view of the truth). We know a priori that there is no possibility of widespread and deep-going disagreement between interpreter and interpreted. </li><li>It is this strong <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_121.htm">modal</A><SUP>1</SUP> thesis that I am here concerned to undermine. I shall review arguments that have been, or might be, given to support the thesis, concluding that none is probative. That the thesis is unproved is, however, less important than why it is that Davidson's central argument does not prove it; and my chief interest will be to advocate a conception of mental states, particularly propositional attitudes, which argues the incorrectness of Davidson's premises and, indirectly, of his conclusion. </li><li>As by-products, I shall indicate <ul type="disc"><li>(a) how that conception bears upon some doctrines of Hilary Putnam, and </li><li>(b) what impact rejection of Davidson's position on charity has on his method of radical interpretation.</li></ul> </li></ol></FONT><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-03T00:11" pubdate>03/08/2018 00:11:28</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>