more from Alexander Miller

Single Idea 7329

[catalogued under 19. Language / F. Communication / 6. Interpreting Language / c. Principle of charity]

Full Idea

A more sophisticated version of the principle of charity holds that we interpret speakers not as necessarily having beliefs that are true by our own lights, but as having beliefs that are intelligible by our own lights.

Gist of Idea

Maybe we should interpret speakers as intelligible, rather than speaking truth


Alexander Miller (Philosophy of Language [1998], 8.7)

Book Reference

Miller,Alexander: 'Philosophy of Language' [UCL Press 1998], p.271

A Reaction

Consider Idea 4161 in the light of this. Presumably this means that we treat them as having a coherent set of beliefs, even if they seem to us to fail to correspond to reality. I prefer the stronger version that there has to be some proper truth in there.

Related Idea

Idea 4161 If a lion could talk, we could not understand him [Wittgenstein]