David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Studies 125 (1):1 - 25 (2005)
This paper enters the continuing fray over the semantic significance of Donnellan’s referential/attributive distinction. Some holdthat the distinction is at bottom a pragmatic one: i.e., that the difference between the referential use and the attributive use arises at the level of speaker’s meaning rather the level of sentence-or utterance-meaning. This view has recently been challenged byMarga Reimer andMichael Devitt, both of whom argue that the fact that descriptions are regularly, that is standardly, usedto refer defeats the pragmatic approach. The present paper examines a variety of issues bearing on the regularity in question: whether the regularity would arise in a Russellian language, whether the regularity is similar to the standard use ofcomplex demonstratives, and whether the pragmatic approach founders on the problem of dead metaphors. I argue that the pragmatic approach can readily explain all of these facets ofthe referential use of descriptions.
|Keywords||Philosophy Philosophy Epistemology Logic Philosophy of Mind Philosophy of Religion|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Kent Bach (1987). Thought and Reference. Oxford University Press.
Wayne A. Davis (1998). Implicature: Intention, Convention, and Principle in the Failure of Gricean Theory. Cambridge University Press.
Michael Devitt (2004). The Case for Referential Descriptions. In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Oxford University Press 234--260.
Keith S. Donnellan (1966). Reference and Definite Descriptions. Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Carlo Penco (2010). Essentially Incomplete Descriptions. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (2):47 - 66.
Howard K. Wettstein (1983). The Semantic Significance of the Referential-Attributive Distinction. Philosophical Studies 44 (2):187--96.
Jeff Speaks (2008). Conversational Implicature, Thought, and Communication. Mind and Language 23 (1):107–122.
A. Bezuidenhout (1997). Pragmatics, Semantic Undetermination and the Referential/Attributive Distinction. Mind 106 (423):375-409.
Genoveva Marti (2008). Direct Reference and Definite Descriptions. Dialectica 62 (1):43–57.
Kent Bach (2007). Referentially Used Descriptions: A Reply to Devitt. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 3 (2):33-48.
Edward Kanterian (2011). Kripke's Metalinguistic Apparatus and the Analysis of Definite Descriptions. Philosophical Studies 156 (3):363-387.
Kent Bach (2004). Descriptions: Points of Reference. In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Clarendon Press
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads78 ( #27,186 of 1,699,739 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #105,649 of 1,699,739 )
How can I increase my downloads?