David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Nicholas Griffin & Dale Jacquette (eds.), Russell Vs. Meinong: The Legacy of "on Denoting". Routledge (2009)
In ‘On Denoting’ and to some extent in ‘Review of Meinong and Others, Untersuchungen zur Gegenstandstheorie und Psychologie’, published in the same issue of Mind (Russell, 1905a,b), Russell presents not only his famous elimination (or contextual deﬁ nition) of deﬁ nite descriptions, but also a series of considerations against understanding deﬁ nite descriptions as singular terms. At the end of ‘On Denoting’, Russell believes he has shown that all the theories that do treat deﬁ nite descriptions as singular terms fall logically short: Meinong’s, Mally’s, his own earlier (1903) theory, and Frege’s. (He also believes that at least some of them fall short on other grounds—epistemological and metaphysical—but we do not discuss these criticisms except in passing). Our aim in the present paper is to discuss whether his criticisms actually refute Frege’s theory. We ﬁ rst attempt to specify just what Frege’s theory is and present the evidence that has moved scholars to attribute one of three different theories to Frege in this area. We think that each of these theories has some claim to be Fregean, even though they are logically quite different from each other. This raises the issue of determining Frege’s attitude towards these three theories. We consider whether he changed his mind and came to replace one theory with another, or whether he perhaps thought that the different theories applied to different realms, for example, to natural language versus a language for formal logic and arithmetic. We do not come to any hard and fast conclusion here, but instead just note that all these theories treat deﬁ nite descriptions as singular terms, and that Russell proceeds as if he has refuted them all. After taking a brief look at the formal properties of the Fregean theories (particularly the logical status of various sentences containing nonproper deﬁ - nite descriptions) and comparing them to Russell’s theory in this regard, we turn to Russell’s actual criticisms in the above-mentioned articles to examine the extent to which the criticisms hold..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Karel Lambert (1987). On the Philosophical Foundations of Free Description Theory. History and Philosophy of Logic 8 (1):57-66.
Peter Millican (1990). Content, Thoughts, and Definite Descriptions. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 64:167 - 220.
Arhat Virdi (2009). The Slingshot Argument, Gödel's Hesitation and Tarskian Semantics. Prolegomena 8 (1):233-241.
Andrew P. Rebera (2009). The Gray's Elegy Argument: Denoting Concepts, Singular Terms, and Truth-Value Dependence. Prolegomena 8 (2):207-232.
Stephen Schiffer (2005). Russell's Theory of Definite Descriptions. Mind 114 (456):1135-1183.
Nathan Salmon (2005). On Designating. Mind 114 (456):1069-1133.
Alex Oliver & Timothy Smiley (2005). Plural Descriptions and Many-Valued Functions. Mind 114 (456):1039-1068.
John-Michael Kuczynski (2005). Why Definite Descriptions Really Are Referring Terms. Grazer Philosophische Studien 68 (1):45-79.
Kevin C. Klement (2009). A Cantorian Argument Against Frege's and Early Russell's Theories of Descriptions. In Nicholas Griffin & Dale Jacquette (eds.), Russell Vs. Meinong: The Legacy of "on Denoting". Routledge.
Howard Wettstein (1990). Frege‐Russell Semantics? Dialectica 44 (1‐2):113-135.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads61 ( #36,558 of 1,696,589 )
Recent downloads (6 months)13 ( #46,132 of 1,696,589 )
How can I increase my downloads?