Contextualism, Pragmatics and Definite Descriptions

Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 7 (2):291-307 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Contextualism, Pragmatics and Definite Descriptions Very few philosophers and linguists doubt that definite descriptions have attributive uses and referential uses. The point of disagreement concerns whether the difference in uses is grounded on a difference in meaning. The Ambiguity Theory holds while the Implicature Theory denies that definite descriptions are ambiguous expressions, having an attributive meaning and a referential meaning. Contextualists have attempted to steer between the Ambiguity Theory and the Implicature Theory. I claim that the early contextualist account provided by Recanati and Bezuidehnout based on the idea that definite descriptions are semantically underdetermined and in need of a completion from the contextually available information through an optional top-down pragmatic process suffers from an explanatory gap.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 83,948

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

¿Descripciones definidas referenciales?Pierre Baumann - 2011 - Princípios 18 (29):285-298.
Wettstein on definite descriptions.William K. Blackburn - 1988 - Philosophical Studies 53 (2):263 - 278.
Are “Attributive” Uses of Definite Descriptions Really Attributive?Ilhan Inan - 2006 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 20 (1):7-13.
Saving Uniqueness.Massimiliano Vignolo - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (4):1177-1198.
An assessment of the argument from convention.Andrei Moldovan - 2016 - Discusiones Filosóficas 17 (28):15 - 34.
Reference and Descriptions.William Kim Blackburn - 1986 - Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada)
The existence entailments of definite descriptions.Paul Elbourne - 2010 - Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (1):1-10.
Co-extensive theories and unembedded definite descriptions.Alex Barber - 2005 - In Reinaldo Elugardo & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), Ellipsis and Nonsentential Speech. Springer. pp. 185–201.
Sharvy's theory of definite descriptions revisited.Berit Brogaard - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (2):160–180.


Added to PP

13 (#805,033)

6 months
1 (#505,949)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Literal Meaning.François Récanati - 2002 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Truth-Conditional Pragmatics.François Recanati - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Descriptions.Stephen Neale - 1990 - MIT Press.
Literal Meaning. [REVIEW]Kent Bach - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):487-492.
Descriptions.S. Neale - 1996 - Critica 28 (83):97-129.

View all 15 references / Add more references