LIRa session: Yibin Dai

On Thursday October 8th 2015, we will have a LIRa session with Yibin Dai. Everyone is cordially invited!

Speaker: Yibin Dai  (Tsinghua University)

Date and Time: Thursday, October 8th 2015, 16:00-17:30

Venue: Science Park 107, Room F1.15

Title: Truth and truth practices:An investigation of Davidson’s theory of truth.

Abstract.  As for the concept of truth, although Davidson’s ideas don’t remain stable, his two main points of view keep same: first, that the concept of truth is undefinable; second, that truth is substantial, which, according to Davidson, means that truth is closely related to other concepts, such as meaning, belief and so on. The first point concerns the concept of truth itself; while the second one deals with the functions that the concept of truth has, which we call as “truth practices”. From these two different perspectives, I find that there is a tension between Davidson’s attitudes towards truth and truth practices and his specific ways of explaining truth practices. At one point, he thinks that truth is transcendental and translinguistic and that truth practices are empirical; at the other point, he uses his specific explanations of truth practices, such as his truth-conditional theory of meaning, to criticize other concrete explanations of truth practices, such as the use theory of meaning. However, truth practices are empirical, which means that our understandings of truth practices are not necessary to be the same. That is to say, it is possible that we have different ways to explain truth practices.