Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Radical interpretation, philosophy: is an expression for a family of thought experiments, which has the object of the translation of a completely foreign language into the language of the interpreter, which the interpreter does not understand at all. See also translation, indeterminacy, Gavagai.

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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V 108ff
Radical Interpretation/RI/Lewis: two aspects: 1) understanding the other person - 2) understanding their language - a) how the other person expresses the content - b) how this content would be expressed in our language - e.g. Karl as a physical system provides us with the whole truth about Karl - even about his history.
IV 110
I do not ask how do we determine the facts, but how the facts determine the facts - omniscient point of view: we can take it as long as we can also give it up again.
IV 111
Even if all mental and semantic facts about Karl are determined by the physical facts, it does not follow that they can be represented in the language of physics.
IV 112
If he has propositional attitudes, it is analytic that they are more or less in conformity with the limiting principles by which these concepts are defined.
IV 113
We assume a system of basal intrinsic values, which is similar to ours and which leads to similar beliefs and desires in Karl.
IV 117
Radical Interpretation/RI/Lewis: problem: too much emphasis is placed on language as the vehicle of the manifestation of belief and belief as manifested in the speech- and too little emphasis on language as a social practice. - Solution: observe the behavior first and do not pay attention to the foreign language.
IV 117f
Radical Interpretation/RI/Lewis: We’re not interested in a practical solution in the end, we want to know how the semantic and mental facts are determined by the physical facts.
What matters: 1) What is the problem of radical interpretation after all. - ) The amount of the limitations by which it is solved and the source of their limiting power - 3) the presupposition that the physical facts determine the mental and the semantic facts - 4) the extent of their determination. - Problem: the truth conditions for whole sentences are not sufficient to determine all subsentential meanings of what is foreign.
IV 119
Shifted pain: we have take the causal role in Karl community as a basis, not in the individual Karl.
IV 120
Being different: means to be in a way that the best scheme for their kind attributes these attitudes to them - if there is no uniform best scheme, Karl's attitudes and opinions are indeterminate to the degree to which there are conflicts.
IV 121
Radical Interpretation/RI/Intrinsic/Meaning//Lewis: E.g. assuming strong individual deviations: the mental states of someone are the intrinsic states in which he is. Nevertheless, what makes them the states - what makes them take the causal role that they are taking - is not entirely intrinsic. To a certain extent it has to do with others of its kind. But this extent is limited, because most cases are not so extraordinary.

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. Lewis
Die Identität von Körper und Geist Frankfurt 1989

D. Lewis
Konventionen Berlin 1975

D. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd I New York Oxford 1983

D. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd II New York Oxford 1986

LwCl I
Cl. I. Lewis
Mind and the World Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge (Dover Books on Western Philosophy) 1991

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-10-22