Authors: Yujian Zheng
I will consider two related questions in this paper: 1. Is a normative quality essential to mind? 2. Is history essential to mind? Apparently, claiming that they are related implies that history has something to do with normativity. Since these issues are very big, too big to be adequately handled by any short paper, I shall, firstly, confine my discussion to one important source, i.e., Dretske 2001, as my major target, and only treat other related ones peripherally. Secondly, I shall focus on the second question above from a unique angle, viz., Davidson’s Swampman, which is also invoked by Dretske in the same work to mobilize one central line of his argument, and hopefully shed some light on its relation to the first question.
Keywords: Swampman, history-laden concepts, user-oriented semantics, retrospective necessity, diachronic holism, Dretske