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19. Language / G. Interpretation / 3. Charity

[assume people aim to speak truth]

21 ideas
Common human behaviour enables us to interpret an unknown language [Wittgenstein]
To communicate, language needs agreement in judgment as well as definition [Wittgenstein]
Weird translations are always possible, but they improve if we impose our own logic on them [Quine]
We should be suspicious of a translation which implies that a people have very strange beliefs [Quine]
The principle of charity only applies to the logical constants [Miller,A on Quine]
We translate in a way that makes the largest possible number of statements true [Wilson,NL]
You can't say 'most speaker's beliefs are true'; in some areas this is not so, and you can't count beliefs [Putnam]
Davidson's Cogito: 'I think, therefore I am generally right' [Button on Davidson]
There is simply no alternative to the 'principle of charity' in interpreting what others do [Davidson]
The principle of charity attributes largely consistent logic and largely true beliefs to speakers [Davidson]
The principle of charity says an interpreter must assume the logical constants [Davidson]
We assume people believe the obvious logical consequences of their known beliefs [Kim]
If someone says "I do and don't like x", we don't assume a contradiction [Kim]
Charity should minimize inexplicable error, rather than maximising true beliefs [Evans]
Basic to pragmatics is taking a message in a way that makes sense of it [Lewis]
We need natural properties in order to motivate the principle of charity [Lewis]
A sophisticated principle of charity sometimes imputes error as well as truth [Lewis]
Charity makes native beliefs largely true, and Humanity makes them similar to ours [Dancy,J]
Maybe we should interpret speakers as intelligible, rather than speaking truth [Miller,A]
The principle of charity is holistic, saying we must hold most of someone's system of beliefs to be true [Miller,A]
Cryptographers can recognise that something is a language, without translating it [O'Grady]