[hist-analytic] Davidson's Hume

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Wed Jun 3 11:53:47 EDT 2009

In a message dated 6/3/2009 9:31:57 A.M. Eastern  Daylight Time,
baynesrb at yahoo.com writes:
'The cause of e caused e' is  contingent. On the other hand if we think of
the sentence as completely devoid  of pragmatic elements, and here I have in
mind Jerry Katz's notion of  'linguistic meaning' then the sentence is
trivial, like 'I married my wife'.

--- I loved that, since the trivium has always been an interest of  mine.

---- I would even provide a _more_ trivial utterance:

"My mother bore me"


Again, one should recall that the word Davidson uses for

          The cause of e  caused e

is "analytic" -- in "Actions, Reasons and Causes":

The essential Davidson - Google Books Result  by Donald Davidson,  Ernie
Lepore, Kirk Ludwig - 2006 - Philosophy - 282 pages

Then the cause of B = A;
      so substituting, we have
      'The cause of B caused B ', which is  analytic.
      The truth of a causal statement depends on  what events are ...

books.google.com/books?isbn=0199288852... -

repr. in A&E collection.


I'm not sure "My mother bore me" is analytic. With all the sci-fi around
I'm suspecting it's not. "_Some_ mother bore me" may be analytic in that one
may  define 'mother' as 'anything that gave birth to me'.

"I married my wife" is a good one for analysis. I find it's indeed otiose
unless you specify the place or year.

And it becomes interesting for Quine if the utterer is an self-confessed
'unmarried' bachelor, I assume.

Locke called 'trivialities' -- and R. B. Jones may testify this, since he
has the whole Essay 1690 online -- 'trifles', or 'trifling propositions'.
The  term should have seduced Hume. But again, I'm not sure Davidson is
meaning  'triviality' in the sense his gerrymandered Hume would!


J. L. Speranza
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