Incomplete descriptions

Erkenntnis 37 (3):347 - 363 (1992)
Abstract
Standard attempts to defend Russell's Theory of Descriptions against the problem posed by incomplete descriptions, are discussed and dismissed as inadequate. It is then suggested that one such attempt, one which exploits the notion of a contextually delimited domain of quantification, may be applicable to incomplete quantifier expressions which are typically treated as quantificational: expressions of the form AllF's, NoF's, SomeF's, Exactly eightF's, etc. In this way, one is able to retain the plausible claim that such expressions ought to receive their usual quantificational analyses. The conclusion tentatively drawn is that perhaps definite descriptions arenot amenable to a (Russellian) quantificational analysis.
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