Difficulties in Davidson's Arguments Against Belief Without Language

Eric Schwitzgebel


I criticize in considerable detail Davidson's two main arguments against the possibility of accurately describing languageless creatures as having belief.

Please Note: The literature on belief in languageless creatures has advanced considerably since I first wrote this paper in 1994 (as a chapter of my dissertation), especially in the context of debates about "non-conceptual content", and my own attitude toward belief in infants has shifted somewhat.  Therefore, I am not seeking broader publication of this work, although it may prove useful to people looking for a detailed treatment of Davidson's arguments.  I have flagged this chapter of my dissertation for separate treatment here because it is the most substantial piece of my dissertation the core ideas of which have not been published elsewhere.

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Dissertation, Chapter 2: Difficulties in Davidson's Arguments Against Belief Without Language

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