ON DAVIDSON'S REFUTATION OF CONCEPTUAL SCHEMES AND CONCEPTUAL RELATIVISM
Article first published online: 26 MAY 2009
© 2009 The Author. Journal compilation © 2009 University of Southern California and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly
Volume 90, Issue 1, pages 140–164, March 2009
How to Cite
WANG, X. (2009), ON DAVIDSON'S REFUTATION OF CONCEPTUAL SCHEMES AND CONCEPTUAL RELATIVISM. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 90: 140–164. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0114.2009.01332.x
- Issue published online: 26 MAY 2009
- Article first published online: 26 MAY 2009
Despite Donald Davidson's influential criticism of the very notion of conceptual schemes, the notion continues enjoying its popularity in contemporary philosophy and, accordingly, conceptual relativism is still very much alive. There is one major reason responsible for Davidson's failure which has not been widely recognized: What Davidson attacks fiercely is not the very notion, but a notion of conceptual schemes, namely, the Quinean notion of conceptual schemes and its underlying Kantian scheme-content dualism. However, such a notion simply cannot carry the weight of conceptual relativism for it does not catch the essences of conceptual relativism. Consequently, I argue that the very notion of conceptual schemes and conceptual relativism have survived Davidson's attack. Therefore, the failure of the Quinean notion of conceptual schemes and Kantian scheme-content dualism, even if Davidson can claim victory, does not mark the end of the very notion of conceptual schemes.