Where Charity Begins
This paper discusses Davidson’s guiding principle for the interpretation of what others believe, desire, and value. Davidson holds that we use ourselves as models for understanding others, and since we regard our own beliefs as true, our own desires as the rational ones to have, and our own values as the right ones, we must apply a principle of "charity" and regard others as holding much the same beliefs, values and desires. I criticize this principle, pointing out that the "we" who hold certain beliefs, desires and values comprehends considerable diversity, and that it is this diversity that enables us to comprehend a range of different ways of being human. I then inquire as to how we regard a range of different beliefs, desires and values as being normal for human beings.
- Wong, D
- Mou, B
- Davidson’s Philosophy and Chinese Philosophy: Constructive Engagement