Graduate studies at Western
Acta Analytica 18 (1-2):125-141 (2003)
|Abstract||When discussing the distinction between referential and attributive uses of definite descriptions, Keith Donnellan also mentions cases such as âSmithâs murderer is insaneâ, uttered in a scenario in which Smith committed suicide. In this essay, I defend a two-fold thesis: (i) the alleged intuition that utterances of âSmithâs murderer is insaneâ are true in the scenario in question is independent from the phenomenon of referential uses of definite description, and, most importantly, (ii) even if such intuition is granted semantic relevance, the evidence it presents is compatible with a Russellian treatment of definite descriptions. I thus present a Russellian analysis of âSmithâs murderer is insaneâ which, when coupled with certain independently plausible hypotheses, explains the presumed intuition that certain utterances of this sentence are indeed true, at least as long as the intended individual is insane|
|Keywords||Donnellan Russell Kripke descriptions referential-attributive|
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