Single Idea 3495

[catalogued under 19. Language / F. Communication / 6. Interpreting Language / b. Indeterminate translation]

Full Idea

Difference in local Backgrounds make translation from one language to another difficult; the commonality of deep Background makes it possible at all.

Gist of Idea

Shared Background makes translation possible, though variation makes it hard


John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 8.V)

Book Reference

Searle,John R.: 'The Rediscovery of the Mind' [MIT 1999], p.194

A Reaction

That is a very good observation about what is normally swept under the one umbrella of the 'principle of charity'. Quine exaggerated the local, and Davidson exaggerated the deep.

Related Idea

Idea 8869 The principle of charity attributes largely consistent logic and largely true beliefs to speakers [Davidson]