Graduate studies at Western
Mind 114 (456):889-913 (2005)
|Abstract||A common objection to Russell's theory of descriptions concerns incomplete definite descriptions: uses of (for example) ‘the book is overdue’ in contexts where there is clearly more than one book. Many contemporary Russellians hold that such utterances will invariably convey a contextually determined complete proposition, for example, that the book in your briefcase is overdue. But according to the objection this gets things wrong: typically, when a speaker utters such a sentence, no facts about the context or the speaker's communicative intentions single out a particular description-theoretic proposition as the proposition expressed. However, this is an objection only if it is assumed that successful linguistic communication requires the hearer to identify a proposition uniquely intended by the speaker. We argue that this assumption is mistaken. On our view, no proposition, descriptive or referential, is uniquely intended in such a context; thus, no proposition can nor need be identified as the proposition expressed. One significant upshot is that, once the aforementioned assumption is rejected, incompleteness no longer poses a threat to Russell's theory of descriptions.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
John Perry (1997). Reflexivity, Indexicality and Names. In W. Künne, A. Newen & M. Anduschus (eds.), Direct Reference, Indexicality and Propositional Attitudes. Csli.
Anne Bezuidenhout (2001). Metaphor and What is Said: A Defense of a Direct Expression View of Metaphor. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 25 (1):156–186.
Christopher Gauker (2008). Zero Tolerance for Pragmatics. Synthese 165 (3):359–371.
Peter W. Hanks (2007). How Wittgenstein Defeated Russell's Multiple Relation Theory of Judgment. Synthese 154 (1):121 - 146.
Stewart Candlish & Nic Damnjanovic (2012). The 'Tractatus' and the Unity of the Proposition. In Jl Zalabardo (ed.), Wittgenstein's Early Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
Samuel C. Rickless (2012). Why and How to Fill an Unfilled Proposition. Theoria 78 (1):6-25.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads56 ( #21,450 of 740,703 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #61,957 of 740,703 )
How can I increase my downloads?