First a snip from Davidson's "Subjective, Intersubjective, Objective" (Pg. 26):
"Burge has suggested that there is another way in which external factors enter into the determination of the contents of speech and thought. One of his 'thought experiments' happens pretty well to fit me. Until recently I believed arthritis was an inflammation of the joints caused by calcium deposits; I did not know that any inflammation of the joints, for example gout, also counted as arthritis. So when a doctor told me (falsely as it turned out) that I had gout, I believed I had gout but I did not believe I had arthritis.
At this point Burge asks us to imagine a world in which I was physically the same but in which the word 'arthritis' happened actually to apply only to inflammation of the joints caused by calcium deposits. Then the sentence 'gout is not a form of arthritis' would have been true, not false, and the belief that I expressed by this sentence would not have been the false belief that gout is not a form of arthritis but a true belief about some disease other than arthritis. Yet in the imagined world all my physical states, my 'internal qualitative experiences', my behavior and dispositions to behave, would have been the same as they are in this world. My belief would have changed, but I would have no reason to suppose that it had, and so could not be said to know what I believed."
This sounds quite unsatisfactory to me, as it seems to follow the reasoning that the act of being right or wrong and knowing what one believes is a matter of being accurate with respect to communicating your state of affairs – or representing them properly. But that puts language use on the plane of being a medium, and knowing your beliefs a matter of using the medium correctly and representatively. It also seems to connect and perhaps conflate language with belief, and/or assumes that to hold a language is to necessarily hold beliefs, right or wrong. In another way, that our rightness and wrongness stands either in relation to correct representation, or how ones word meanings connect with the language community at large (coherence).
Without a language do we not hold beliefs? Maybe? I suppose we could say that, just as truth only exists in language, belief also only exists in language. But then what does "knowing what we believe" stand in relation to (representation, coherence, what)? And whether or not I'm correct in accurately verbalizing my state of affairs, am I not correct in believing that my hands hurt like a bitch? Which above Davidson says, yes, that we have the same state of affairs, but in this case we don't know what we "believe". But should we seperate belief and know in this way? Hm
I'll have to read on.....
of course I'm not talking here about what I assume Davidson to believe.