David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
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)|
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
Keith S. Donnellan (1966). Reference and Definite Descriptions. Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.
ST Kuhn (2000). Embedded Definite Descriptions: Russellian Analysis and Semantic Puzzles. Mind 109 (435):443-454.
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.
Manuel García-Carpintero (2005). The Real Distinction Between Descriptions and Indexicals. Teorema: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 24 (3):49-74.
Paul Elbourne (2010). The Existence Entailments of Definite Descriptions. Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (1):1-10.
Francesco Pupa (2008). Ambiguous Articles: An Essay On The Theory Of Descriptions. Dissertation, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Delia Graff Fara (2006). Descriptions with Adverbs of Quantification. Philosophical Issues 16 (1):65–87.
Delia Graff Fara (2006). Descriptions with Adverbs of Quantification. Philosophical Issues 16 (1):65-87.
Barbara Abbott (2008). Issues in the Semantics and Pragmatics of Definite Descriptions in English. In Nancy Hedberg & Jeanette Gundel (eds.), Reference: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Oxford University Press. 61-72.
Delia Graff Fara (2006). Descriptions with Adverbs of Quantification. Philosophical Issues, Volume 16: Philosophy of Language 16:65–87.
Stephen Schiffer (2005). Russell's Theory of Definite Descriptions. Mind 114 (456):1135-1183.
Peter Millican (1990). Content, Thoughts, and Definite Descriptions. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 64:167 - 220.
Added to index2010-09-08
Total downloads6 ( #203,479 of 1,100,975 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #176,807 of 1,100,975 )
How can I increase my downloads?