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Definite descriptions, I shall argue, have two possible functions. 1] They are used to refer to what a speaker wishes to talk about, but they are also used quite. Keith Donnellan, “Reference and Definite Descriptions”. Due Feb 13, by 10am; Points 5; Submitting a discussion post; Available after Feb 2, at 12am. Keith Sedgwick Donnellan was an American philosopher and Professor ” Reference and Definite Descriptions” has been one of.

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The Fodor and Sag argumentation was taken up in the philosophical literature by King and Ludlow and Nealewho argued that there is a confusion in the Fodor and Sag discussion.

Russell has not been alone in thinking that descriptions and definite determiners are important. Unfortunately, there are more sophisticated versions of these cases where simple relativization to events will not do.

Keith Donnellan

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQsand if you can’t find the answer there, please contact us. Additional criticism of referennce criticism can be found in Block and Stalnaker and Byrne and Pryor For example ChastainDonnellanWilsonand Fodor and Sagheld that indefinite descriptions are ambiguous between referential and quantificational interpretations.

Public users can dsfinite freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter. Worse, what is the principled basis by which we weight the importance of the properties in the bundle?

Essays on Reference, Language, and Mind. Alternatively, some writers have argued that that the problem of incomplete definite descriptions can be accounted for if we pursue an appropriate theory of quantifier domain restriction.


It is not pragmatically extruded from givenness as suggested by Ludlow and Segal but rather from whatever meaning the genetive case brings with it — often some notion of possession. Of course, having referred to it, we presumably will then ascribe some properties to it.

The interesting feature of this example is that the uniqueness implications of the definite descriptions remain problematic, for they imply that there is a unique satisfier of the description in each event. Stanford University Press, — It would follow that descriptions need not be relied upon as heavily as he imagined 4. Presupposition and Assertion in Dynamic Edscriptions.

Radical PragmaticsNew York: Donnellan’s main claim in this descri;tions is that there is something wrong with both Russell’s and Strawson’s account of descriptions, because both of them account for at most one of the uses of descriptions that Donnellan distinguishes.

How can any of this be an argument for definite descriptions being semantically referential? Walter de Gruyter, — For example, according vescriptions Ludlow and Neale, there are a number of possible uses to which we can put indefinite descriptions, including referential uses, specific uses, definite uses, and purely existential uses.

Keith Donnellan, “Reference and Definite Descriptions”

Context Dependence and Procedural Meaning: Grice showed us that there is an important distinction to be made between what one literally says by an utterance and what one intends to communicate what one means by that utterance. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use for details see www. He talks of the thing that is “meant”; of something that the speaker has “in mind”.


In this vein, one widely held view, due to Kamp and Heimis that we could regard indefinite descriptions as expressions containing free variables which are bound by adverbs of quantification in the sense of Lewis interpreted as existentially quantified by the model theory, or perhaps bound by implicit existential closure operators Diesing AneNew York: Fx ] Gx receives in a standard truth-conditional semantics.

Since indefinites with the relevant scopal properties would violate standard syntactic constraints, indefinites must in some cases be semantically referential. It is possible to understand CooperHeimChemlaSchlenkerand Romoli as holding that dfinite maximality component is presupposed.

Keith Donnellan – Wikipedia

It is when the case system weakens that determiners begin to appear——an idea that is offered in Abraham The task for philosophers of language now is the thorny task of figuring out what information they do encode. ST Kuhn descriptipns – Mind Ordinarily, when philosophers talk about descriptions, they have two kinds of expressions in mind: A unified Russellian treatment of desrciptions constructions seems possible. That is to say, there are referential and quantificational uses of indefinite descriptions and these are a reflex of a genuine semantical ambiguity.

Kripke gave several reasons for thinking that this Gricean solution was preferable to an ambiguity thesis. The Interface between Language and RealityCambridge: The idea is that the content of the description could consist solely of that property.