Donald Davidson

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Donald Herbert Davidson (March 16, 1917, Springfield, Mass.—August 30, 2003, Berkeley, California) was a leading American academic philosopher. His primary philosophical interests included work on the nature of events and actions and on applying Alfred Tarski's work on truth conditions to the meaning of natural language. As a student, he was interested in the classics and literature and his dissertation was on Plato's Philebus. His move into analytic philosophy was under the direction of Willard van Orman Quine. During the 1950s he worked on decision-making theory and opposed Ludwig Wittgenstein in arguing that reasons can be taken as causes. From 1981 to his death in 2003, Davidson held a position at the University of California at Berkeley. Previously, he had worked at Queen's College New York, Stanford University, Princeton University, Rockefeller University and the University of Chicago.