Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

 
Proximal theory, philosophy: theories of learning or language acquisition are called proximal, which assume that the meanings to be learned are to be located at the nerve endings of the learning subject. It is assumed that the meanings are not "in the head," as the formulation of H. Putnam states (H. Putnam, "The Meaning of Meaning”. In Philosophical Papers, Vol 2. Mind, Language and Reality, Cambridge, 227). The counterpositions to the proximal theory are summarized under the concept of distal theories. These assume that meanings are to be settled on the surfaces of the objects. Distal theories proceed from a social learning, proximal theories from a subject-centric language acquisition. See also distal theories, language acquisition, meaning, meaning theory, twin earth.

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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.

 
Author Item Excerpt Meta data

 
Books on Amazon
I 53
Proximal/meaning theory/Davidson: same meaning with the same stimulus patterns - distal: same objects - here it must be translated several times - 1. Comparison of the linguistic response to changes in the environment - 2. own sentence that the radical interpreter himself would express.
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I 53f
Distal/DavidsonVsQuine: same objects and causes for speakers - here several times translation - DavidsonVsQuine: the proximal theory leads to classical skepticism - e.g. Gavagai: both could mean the same, whereby the same circumstances make all sentences true for one and for the other one all false - proximal/Quine: documents primary - distal/Davidson: truth primary: meaning linked to the truth conditions - Quine/DummettVsEvans: Do not align meaning on truth conditions. - DavidsonVs: too simplified, every theory must relate meaning to truth and to documents - proofs/Davidson: are relations between sentences. - (no last data, only observing records) - VsDistal: Problem: there are probably several candidates for the position of the common cause item. E.g. every more comprehensive segment of the universe to the birth of the speaker for the utterance of "this is red". And so it would be the cause for any other disposition of the speaker - that would equal the meaning of all observation sentences.
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I 58
Proximal: does not guarantee that our theory of the world applies at all - difference proximal/distal: as between meaning theories which a) assigns to the evidence (proximal, stimulus pattern) or b) to the truth (distal, objects) the primary status - Quine pro a) (proximal)
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I 58
QuineVsEvans/DummettVsEvans: meaning not from truth conditions - instead: proximal theory: stimulus patterns (evidence) instead of objects - this is simplistic, since every meaning theory has to relate meaning to truth and to documents.
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I 59
DavidsonVsPutnam, DavidsonVsDummett: VsProximal theory: skepticism, relativization on the individual - cartesian.
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I 59
Evidence/Davidson: must be relations between propositions - the theory cannot support this from the outside.
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I 61
Proximal meaning theory - similar to Descartes, Dummett, Frege - stimulus patterns instead of objects is decisive.
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K. Glüer, Davidson zur Einführung, 1993
Glüer II 53
DavidsonVs social character of meaning: also idiolect is in principle interpretable (via causal hypotheses).


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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.

D I
D. Davidson
Der Mythos des Subjektiven Stuttgart 1993

D III
D. Davidson
Handlung und Ereignis Frankfurt 1990

D IV
D. Davidson
Wahrheit und Interpretation Frankfurt 1990

D II
K. Glüer
D. Davidson Zur Einführung Hamburg 1993


> Counter arguments against Davidson
> Counter arguments in relation to Proximal Theory

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-09-23