A description theory of singular reference

Dialectica 57 (1):7–40 (2003)
According to the received view, descriptivism is a dead end in an attempt to account for singular reference by proper names, indexicals and possibly even incomplete descriptions, for they require referentialism. In contrast to this, I argue for an application of the former to all kinds of singular terms, indexicals in particular, by relying on a view of incomplete descriptions as elliptical in a pragmatic sense. I thus provide a general analysis of singular reference. The proposed approach is in line with the classical theory of propositions, except for admitting “private” ones with subjective mental entities as constituents. On the other hand, there is no commitment to singular Russellian propositions with ordinary objects as constituents and in general to meanings that cannot be “in the mind”.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1746-8361.2003.tb00253.x
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References found in this work BETA
John Perry (2009). Reference and Reflexivity. Center for the Study of Language and Information.
Bertrand Russell (2005). On Denoting. Mind 114 (456):873 - 887.

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