On Davidson’s “The Logical Form of Action Sentences”

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This brief essay reviews and elaborates what I take to be Davidson’s main arguments for his celebrated “event analyses” for action reports like (1–9), beginning with the interesting pattern of implications and non-implications exhibited by such sentences. The second part of the essay addresses some potential sources of skepticism about Davidson’s proposal, along with some subsequent sources of support, including perceptual reports like ‘Plum saw Scarlet poke Mustard’ and ‘Plum heard Mustard shriek’. Given the spirit of this volume, the presentation of Davidson’s leading ideas is more formally explicit – and more focused on issues of interest to contemporary semanticists – than in his seminal and wide-ranging paper, which was intended primarily for audiences in philosophy in the 1960s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStudies in Linguistics and Philosophy
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameStudies in Linguistics and Philosophy
ISSN (Print)0924-4662
ISSN (Electronic)2215-034X

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Philosophy


  • Actions
  • Adverbs
  • Compositionality
  • Events
  • Implication
  • Logical form
  • Meaning
  • Truth


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