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ABSTRACT. This essay has five parts: First, I explain some fundamental agreements between Davidson and Wittgenstein. I argue that Donald Davidson's views and Wittgenstein's views in the Investigations arise from some of the same fundamental insights. Second, I discuss Davidson's account of metaphor and the agreement between Davidson and Wittgenstein on some of the "facts" about metaphor. Third, I discuss how Davidson's conception of metaphor can be extended to deal with metaphor as a phenomenon in historical linguistics. Through a discussion of Davidson's account of language acquisition, I suggest how an account of the interrelationship between the idiolect and the common language, taking Derridean and Wittgensteinian considerations into account, can lead to an expanded Davidsonian account of metaphor and language. Language as idiolect and language as text turn out to be inextricably intertwined, so that indeterminacies in the common language become indeterminacies in the idiolect. Fourth, in order to show how such a conception could still be essentially Davidsonian in making truth and truth-definition central, I propose a Davidsonian account of truth that acknowledges in principle unknowable truth-values. This would allow Davidson to deal with metaphorical indeterminacies in the same way that he could deal with several other kinds of indeterminacy. I argue that this theory is compatible with everything Wittgenstein asserts, except for being a theory. Fifth, I argue that Wittgenstein could and should adopt this extended and adapted Davidsonian line, if he rethought some of his assumptions about truth, the use of "true," and the proper role of a theory of logical form.

 

SAMUEL C. WHEELER III
 
 
 

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