On the Philosophical foundations of free description theory

History and Philosophy of Logic 8 (1):57-66 (1987)
Abstract
This essay lays out the leading principles of the theories of definite descriptions advocated by Frege, Russell, and Hilbert and Bernays, and discusses various difficulties, philosophical and otherwise, with each treatment, fixing especially on the treatment of singular existence claims. Then the leading principles of free (definite) description theory are presented and it is shown how it resolves difficulties confronting the more traditional approaches. Finally, a pair of technical problems in free (definite) description theory are addressed. They help to show the fecundity of this treatment of definite descriptions
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