Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Principle of Charity: demand by Neil L. Wilson (Wilson, “Substances without Substrata, The Review of Metaphysics”, 12 (4), 521-539), in the interpretation of expressions by other people to assume rationality, i.e. conclusive, coherent and true conduct in these people. The principle was taken up and further developed by D. Davidson (Davidson, “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme, Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation”, Oxford 1974).

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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IV 79
transcendental/argument/Davidson/Fodor/Lepore: Davidson s transcendental argument for the charity principle is as follows: If we do not assume that the speaker believes the most things correctly, then language acquisition is impossible by the RI. - IV 80 - language acquisition is possible, however - so it must be assumed that most of the beliefs of the speaker are true.
Fodor/Lepore VsDavidson: there is no clear reason to believe the second premise (that RI is possible) - therefore the transcendental argument fails.
IV 95f
Charity Principle/Davidson/Fodor/Lepore: is not necessary at all - the fact that an interpretation that makes more sentences true than another interpretation is preferable itself is not the CP - rather a methodological principle for evaluating theories.
IV 99f
Holism/Meaning holism/Fodor/Lepore: the charity principle -buys more-than the compositionality for iterated belief contexts - these are in fact more fine-grained - believes that - is more opaque than -is nomologically coextensive with- then the RI does not allow to assume most beliefs of the speaker to be true. - CP: cannot eliminate the hypothesis that Sam believes that snow is F - RI/Fodor/Lepore: works only in non-intentional contexts.
IV 109
Charity Principle/Lewis: part of our concept of the person.
IV 160
Charity/Fodor/Lepore VsDavidson: cannot be used by the omniscient: he will always misinterpret the erring if he assumes his sentences as mostly true (in the light of the interpreter) - so he must not apply the same method. - (IV 159/160) - Solution: the omniscient must construct my false beliefs as false in his light and the true ones as true in his light - he can only do that if he waives the charity principle. -
IV 160
Charity/Fodor/Lepore: can only be used between two omniscient beings. It is an incoherent concept to have an Omniscient exercise charity with a erring being.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

J. Fodor/E. Lepore
Holism Cambridge USA Oxford UK 1992

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-04-20