Referential/Attributive: The Explanatory Gap of the Contextualist Theory

Dialectica 66 (4):621-633 (2012)
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Abstract

I argue that the contextualist account of the referential/attributive interpretation of definite descriptions, presented by Recanati and Bezuidehnout and based on the idea that definite descriptions are semantically underdetermined and in need of completion through optional top-down pragmatic processes, suffers from an explanatory gap. I defend the contextualist view but hold that the determination of the content of definite descriptions is a mandatory, linguistically driven process based on saturation rather than on optional pragmatic processes

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References found in this work

Literal Meaning.François Récanati - 2002 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Direct Reference: From Language to Thought.François Récanati - 1993 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
Descriptions.Stephen Neale - 1990 - MIT Press.
Truth-Conditional Pragmatics.François Recanati - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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