Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 27 (1):30-40 (2013)
AbstractIn this paper, I argue that contrary to the approach widely taken in the literature, it is possible to retain Russell's theory of definite descriptions and grant some semantic significance to the distinction between the attributive and the referential use. The core of the argumentation is based on recognition of the so-called "roundabout" way in which the use of a definite description may be significant to the semantic features of the sentence: it is a case where the use of a description contributes to the semantics of the sentence by affecting another expression of that sentence. I offer an appropriate example which illustrates the case in question and I demonstrate that the semantic difference between the two uses can be easily captured by Russell's account.
Similar books and articles
Demonstrative reference and definite descriptions.Howard K. Wettstein - 1981 - Philosophical Studies 40 (2):241--257.
The referential-attributive distinction: A cognitive account.George Powell - 2001 - Pragmatics and Cognition 9 (1):69-98.
A non-Russellian treatment of the referential/attributive distinction.John Michael Kuczynski - 2004 - Pragmatics and Cognition 12 (2):253-294.
The semantic significance of the referential-attributive distinction.Howard K. Wettstein - 1983 - Philosophical Studies 44 (2):187--96.
Kripke’s metalinguistic apparatus and the analysis of definite descriptions.Edward Kanterian - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (3):363-387.
Conversational implicature and the referential use of descriptions.Thomas D. Bontly - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 125 (1):1 - 25.
Russellian description and Smith’s suicide.Stefano Predelli - 2003 - Acta Analytica 18 (1-2):125-141.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
Saying nothing : in defence of syntactic and semantic underdetermination.Mark Bowker - 2016 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
References found in this work
Reference and definite descriptions.Keith S. Donnellan - 1966 - Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.
The case for referential descriptions.Michael Devitt - 2004 - In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Oxford University Press. pp. 234--260.
Descriptions: Points of Reference.Kent Bach - 2004 - In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Clarendon Press. pp. 189-229.
Referential/attributive: A contextualist proposal.Francois Recanati - 1989 - Philosophical Studies 56 (3):217 - 249.