Davidson starts off by contrasting his semantic approach to Quine's: whereas he reads off ontic commitments from natural languages as they are, Quine is willing to revise them in favour of a ‘language of science’. Davidson points out how that difference in approach has led them to diverging accounts of belief sentences (intensional contexts). He then retracts the individuation conditions he offered for events (in Essay 8) in terms of their causes and effects, conceding the circularity Quine spots in them. Recognizing that ordinary enduring objects with vague boundaries fare no better (explosions and mountains lack clear individuation conditions too), Davidson rests satisfied that events present not only a comparably permissible but also an indispensable ontological category to explain the workings of natural language.
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