Definite descriptions

Studia Logica 49 (1):87 - 104 (1990)
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Three views on definite descriptions are summarized and discussed, including that of P. F. Strawson in which reference failure results in lack of truth value. When reference failure is allowed, a problem arises concerning Universal Instantiation. Van Fraassen solves the problem by the use of supervaluations, preserving as well such theorems as a=a, and Fa or ~Fa, even when the term a fails to refer. In the present paper a form of relevant, quasi-analytic implication is set out which allows reference failure to infect even a=a and Fa or ~Fa with lack of truth-value. Reference failure causes lack of truth-value in a subwff to spread throughout any wff built up by the classical connectives. As a result none of the classical first-order axiom schemes remain as axiom schemes in the system presented.



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From a Logical Point of View.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1953 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Tractatus logico-philosophicus.Ludwig Wittgenstein, G. C. M. Colombo & Bertrand Russell - 1994 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Luciano Bazzocchi & P. M. S. Hacker.
On referring.Peter F. Strawson - 1950 - Mind 59 (235):320-344.
Singular terms, truth-value gaps, and free logic.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1966 - Journal of Philosophy 63 (17):481-495.

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