Theoria 75 (4):252-271 (2009)
AbstractIn this article I construe Russell's definite description notation as a fragment of an "ideal language"– a language in which, as Russell puts it in the "Logical Atomism" lectures, "the words in a proposition correspond one by one with the components of the corresponding fact." Russell's notation – containing as it does variables, quantifiers and the identity sign – commits him to an ontology that is lavish indeed. It thus conflicts with the spirit of the theory of descriptions, which is developed in the service of ontological frugality. I make use of arguments derived from the Tractatus to show that an ideal language need not contain logical signs. I thus defend the spirit of the theory of descriptions while departing from its letter
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References found in this work
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.Ludwig Wittgenstein, G. C. M. Colombo & Bertrand Russell - 1922 - Fratelli Bocca.
Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy.Bertrand Arthur William Russell - 1919 - London, England: Dover Publications.
Citations of this work
The Problem of False Belief and the Failure of the Theory of Descriptions.Max Rosenkrantz - 2016 - Theoria 82 (1):56-80.
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