Unembedded Definite Descriptions and Relevance

Abstract
Definite descriptions (e.g. 'The king of France in 1997', 'The teacher of Aristotle') do not stand for particulars. Or so I will assume. The semantic alternative has seemed to be that descriptions only have meaning within sentences: i.e., that their semantic contribution is given syncategorimatically. This doesn't seem right, however, because descriptions can be used and understood outside the context of any sentence. Nor is this use simply a matter of "ellipsis." Since descriptions do not denote particulars, but seem to have a meaning in isolation, I propose that they be assigned generalized quantifiers as denotations — i.e. a kind of function, from sets/properties to propositions. I then defend the pragmatic plausibility of this proposal, using Relevance Theory. Specifically, I argue that, even taken as standing for generalized quantifiers, descriptions could still be used and understood in interpersonal communication
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Only published papers are available at libraries
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Kent Bach (2004). Descriptions: Points of Reference. In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Clarendon Press.
    Berit Brogaard (2007). Sharvy's Theory of Definite Descriptions Revisited. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (2):160–180.
    Delia Graff Fara (2006). Descriptions with Adverbs of Quantification. Philosophical Issues, Volume 16: Philosophy of Language 16:65–87.
    Peter Millican (1990). Content, Thoughts, and Definite Descriptions. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 64:167 - 220.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2010-09-08

    Total downloads

    4 ( #198,645 of 1,089,154 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,735 of 1,089,154 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.