Northern European Journal of Philosophy
Editor-in-Chief: Addis, Mark / Hämäläinen, Nora / Pedersen, Esther Oluffa / Westphal, Kenneth R.
Ed. by Haraldsson, Robert H. / Letteval, Rebecka / Serck-Hanssen, Camilla / Timmermann, Jens / Verbeek, Peter-Paul / Wallgren, Thomas / Westerkamp, Dirk
Editorial Board Member: Sondergaard Christensen, Anne-Marie / Gimmler, Antje / Granberg, Anne / Gundersen, Lars Bo / Gustafsson, Martin / Heinämaa, Sara / Hutto, Daniel / Janvid, Mikael / Kappel, Klemens / Laitinen, Arto / Linnebo, Oystein / Nilsson, Jonas / Riis, Sören / Rödl, Sebastian / Thorgeirsdottir, Sigridur / Tuinen, Sjoerd / Wienand, Isabelle / Ylikoski, Petri / Zahavi, Dan
2 Issues per year
CiteScore 2016: 0.15
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.131
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.020
The paper examines the question whether the perceptual and discriminatory capacities of a creature and its disposition to react to things and events determine the nature and limits of what it is able to communicate and understand. Does a significant divergence in perceptual and discriminatory sensibilities of two creatures threaten the possibility of their mutual comprehensibility? It is argued, with the help of Donald Davidson's recent idea of ‘triangulation’, that this is indeed the case. By introducing into his theoretical framework the notion of triangulation as a necessary precondition of mastering a language, Davidson is forced to admit the possibility of a breakdown of communication between creatures that do not have sufficiently similar evolutionary histories—his own claims to the contrary nothwithstanding. And this, in turn, seems to threaten his claims about the impossibility of the notion of a language that we could not interpret in our own terms.