Proper names[ edit ] By , analytic philosophers widely accepted a view regarding the reference-relation that holds of proper names and that which they name, known as descriptivism and attributed to Bertrand Russell. Descriptivism holds that ordinary proper names e. Written in response to the work of Bertrand Russell and P. Strawson in the area of definite descriptions , the essay develops a distinction between the "referential use" and the "attributive use" of a definite description. The referential use, on the other hand, functions to pick out who or what a speaker is talking about, so that something can be said about that person or thing.
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Kazrahn The ambulance came and took me to the hospital where I had to wait an hour for the doctor to see me. Essays in Honor of Michael DummettOxford: The Varieties of ReferenceOxford: Since indefinites with the relevant scopal properties would violate standard syntactic constraints, indefinites must in some cases be semantically referential.
Russell saw that scope relations are relevant here. Disagreement, Implicit Arguments, and Relative Truth. To see this we need merely recognize that even though two men say Ralph and Norton may turn the switch simultaneously, it is still the case that we can recognize two independent minimal events; one where Ralph turns the switch and one where Norton turns the switch. Classical and Contemporary ReadingsOxford: In each case, the proposition expressed is argued to be that which would be expressed if the indefinite determiner were replaced by the existential quantifier.
In the case of 60we intuitively are not saying that there is a lawyer such that John is identical to that lawyer. Genoveva Marti — — Dialectica 62 1: As Winter informally characterizes the doctrine, the idea is as follows. This area will be used by the assessor to leave comments related to this criterion.
Related Entries anaphora discourse representation theory logical constructions logical form names nonexistent objects reference referwnce designators Russell, Bertrand. Suppose, moreover, that in characterizing what the speaker definiet, we ourselves definihe refer to the object to which the speaker was referring using any tool at our disposal: Thesis, Princeton University Department of Philosophy. If the expressions fail to refer, then there is a presupposition failure and the utterance fails to have a determinate truth value.
Thomason ; and Soames ; seemed to think so, and Strawson himself also came to doubt whether the entailment vs. What is negated in 4a is not a claim about some particular individual, but rather a general claim about the world—in effect a claim that the world contains exactly one individual that is donnellan the king of France and that whoever is presently the king of France exists.
Academic Tools How to cite this entry. Keith Donnellan — Wikipedia As Rothchild observes, a similar referdnce can be made for descriptions embedded in questions here assuming, as did Russell, that possessives are to be analyzed as definite descriptions: Example 65 is particularly instructive in this regard. The Semantics of DefinitesPh. What this means is that whatever account we give of pronouns—through dynamic semantics or whatever—we will want to account for this variation in interpretation in a donnelan way.
From Discourse to LogicDordrecht: Fara pursued the possibility that all uses of definite descriptions are predicational—even descriptions in subject position. The critical question is whether the sentences in which they appear are quantificational or referential, and Russell may well be right about the critical cases here. And, as Donnellan is at pains to emphasize pp. He could have forsaken philosophy for other pursuits. Again, the goal is metaphysical austerity and faithfulness to our epistemic position.
Direct Reference and Definite Descriptions. See Everett and Hofweber and French and Wettstein for papers descriptioms these general issues, and see Zaltafor a robust defense of the nonexistent object strategy. Consider a case where we are at the crime scene, and unbeknownst to Detective Brown there is not one murderer but several—suppose there were several perpetrators and they were all mad members of an evil cult.
Donnelpan Rothchild observes, a similar argument can be made for descriptions embedded in questions here assuming, as did Russell, that possessives are to be analyzed as definite descriptions:.
Descriptions Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Russell also proposed that ordinary proper names could be construed as definite descriptions in disguise. The idea is the following: To the contrary, he literally expresses the proposition that there is at least one murderer of Smith who is insane. A man fell in front of the train. Contrast both with the following, which seems entirely natural. But genitive case can be put to other uses. Von Fintel and Yablo offer an explanation for these minimal pairs that draws upon the nature of belief revision.
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Reference and Definite Descriptions