Donald Davidson (Donald Herbert Davidson) Biography
(1917–2003), (Donald Herbert Davidson), Words and Objections, Essays on Action and Events
American philosopher, born in Springfield, Massachusetts, educated at Harvard University. He has held professorships at Princeton, Rockefeller University, New York, the University of Chicago, and the University of California, Berkeley. He has also been a visiting professor at various universities throughout the world. Since the late 1960s he has exerted wide influence in analytical philosophy, particularly in respect of his concept of ‘anomalous monism’; its application permits recognition of the indissoluble relation between mental events and physical reality while acknowledging that the former are not unconditionally governed by the laws of nature. His interrelated work on philosophies of language and mind issued in a theory of meaning which enabled him to suggest the common limitations of diverse conceptual systems. His reputation rests on a comparatively slender body of published work, principally Words and Objections (1969); his essays on the work of W. V. O. Quine, Essays on Action and Events (1980); and Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation (1984), his principal contribution to the philosophy of language. Plato's Philebus (1990) offers concepts on the philosophy of pleasure. Among the numerous works he has edited is The Logic of Grammar (1975). Essays on Davidson, edited by B. Vermazen and M. B. Hintikka, was published in 1985.