Donnellan: “Reference and Definite Descriptions”. TWO USES OF . sentence “ Keith asserted that Smith’s murderer is insane.” To capture the. Keith Donnellan, “Reference and Definite Descriptions”. Due Feb 13, by 10am; Points 5; Submitting a discussion post; Available after Feb 2, at 12am. Keith Donnellan, Joseph Almog, and Paolo Leonardi function is the referential use of definite description, in which the speaker uses it to refer to something.

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The descriptive information that we associate with names just is not sufficient to pick out the intended referent.

Philosophers have also descriptjons attracted to this view. One might here argue that this is a partitive construction, but more explicit possessive constructions are possible: To illustrate, consider an example like 17due to Partee The problem is that we can be in error as to whether we are directly acquainted with someone did I really have lunch with a colleague or was that a clever hologram?

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Definige illustrate the problem, consider the following:. And as we saw above even in languages that deploy determiners, it is not clear that the determiners are behaving as quantificational operators.

Stanford University Press, — See Bach dknnellan, Neale band Lepore for a more general dicussion of the proposal. Print Save Cite Email Share. What one literally expresses in 38 is that the hearer should put a book on a book. According to Soames, there are contexts of utterance and worlds of evaluation where 14a is true but 14b is false.

Descriptions (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Alternatively, if George has gone mad and is in fact eefinite about the law of identity, this may be represented as in 8where both descriptions have wide scope.

What Remains of the Theory of Descriptions? The answer sheet was stolen from my office. Linguistic, cognitive, and computational perspectivesCambridge: The phenomenon also seems to apply to modal adverbs. Use this rubric for assignment grading. For example, species ddscriptions are routinely given in the genitive case in Latin, and indeed it is a prescriptive rule about the coining of a new species name that it be placed descriptiond genitive case.


To illustrate the problem, consider the following: The Existence Entailments of Definite Descriptions. Related Entries anaphora discourse representation theory logical constructions logical form names nonexistent objects reference rigid designators Russell, Bertrand.

The two-level theory thus accounts for our conflicting intuitions. Can these also be rejected? Introduction to Logical TheoryLondon: Views Read Edit View history.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Metaphysical and semantical concerns were important to Russell in his paper, but epistemological concerns were no less significant.

Academic Tools How to cite this entry. The critical question is whether the sentences in which they appear are quantificational or referential, and Russell may well be right about the critical cases here.

Figurative LanguageOxford: Essays on Reference, Language, and Mind Author s: Kripke discussed this possibility briefly in the Preface toholding that the move overlooks the fact that we can simply evaluate 12 in other possible worlds, hence no embedding within modal operators is really necessary. One problem with strategies of this nature is that there fails to be a principled basis in the terminology of Devitt and Sterelny for determining what the content of these descriptions is to be.

Russellian Analysis and Semantic Puzzles. But truth value judgments for cases like this are extremely sensitive.


The question is whether each of these constructions must be treated in a different way, or whether it is possible to unify their treatment with the analysis of definite descriptions discussed above. First, he argues that the question whether a description is used referentially or attributively cannot be reduced to the question whether the speaker knows of some particular thing that it fits the description uniquely p.

In the referential case, by contrast, one is implying or presupposing that some particular thing —namely, the thing about which one wishes to speak—fits the description uniquely.

The Semantics of DefinitesPh. It appears descriptikns be exactly the same phenomenon. Philosophy of LanguageCambridge, MA: The evidence does suggest however, that definite determiners can often play the role of supplying case, and this may go a long way towards explaining some of the most recalcitrant facts involving descriptions.

The standard analysis would have it that I refer to a past time or past time interval here, but such an analysis does not go down well with presentists, who do not believe that there are such intervals, and at a minimum we might think there is something epistemologically troubling about referring to past and future descripttions to see this, consider what desrciptions Russellian might say, given that some notion of direct acquaintance is required on the Russellian view.


Oxford University Press, 61— That is, in 46 the speaker is literally saying there is qnd one German airline and we recognize this as an intentional falsehood, and then infer that the speaker means to communicate the airline is special in some way. The idea is that the content of the description could consist solely of that property. Clearly, the question being put forth in 50 is not concerned with finding out whether or not the questioner has a child.

As we will see, the unified treatment of definite and indefinite descriptions may provide us an entering wedge for cracking open these puzzles. The descriptions that we associate with names routinely do not describe the individuals that we intend to refer to.

Keith Donnellan, “Reference and Definite Descriptions”

Publications Pages Publications Pages. For example, Elbourne has argued that the minimal situation story can suffice if there are subsituations dewcriptions only one bishop.

Referential uses of indefinites must be either a function of quantifier scope or a semantically referential indefinite determiner. The basic structure of their argument was the following.

Again we are in two minds about the matter but this time the distinction between what is literally said and what is meant is no help. The material in the square brackets gives the restriction on the quantifier, and the formula in parentheses after the bracket constitutes the scope of the restricted quantifier.

Von Fintel and Yablo offer an explanation for these minimal pairs that draws upon the nature of belief revision.