Search results for 'definite descriptions' (try it on Scholar)

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  1. Paul Elbourne (2010). The Existence Entailments of Definite Descriptions. Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (1):1-10.score: 90.0
    Contrary to a claim made by Kaplan (Mind 114:933–1003, 2005) and Neale (Mind 114:809–871, 2005), the readings available to sentences containing definite descriptions embedded under propositional attitude verbs and conditionals do pose a significant problem for the Russellian theory of definite descriptions. The Fregean theory of descriptions, on the other hand, deals easily with the relevant data.
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  2. Edward Kanterian (2011). Kripke's Metalinguistic Apparatus and the Analysis of Definite Descriptions. Philosophical Studies 156 (3):363-387.score: 90.0
    This article reconsiders Kripke’s ( 1977 , in: French, Uehling & Wettstein (eds) Contemporary perspectives in the philosophy of language, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis) pragmatic, univocal account of the attributive-referential distinction in terms of a metalinguistic apparatus consisting of semantic reference and speaker reference. It is argued that Kripke’s strongest methodological argument supporting the pragmatic account, the parallel applicability of the apparatus to both names and definite descriptions, is successful only if descriptions are treated as designators (...)
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  3. William K. Blackburn (1988). Wettstein on Definite Descriptions. Philosophical Studies 53 (2):263 - 278.score: 90.0
    I critically examine an argument, due to howard wettstein, purporting to show that sentences containing definite descriptions are semantically ambiguous between referential and attributive readings. Wettstein argues that many sentences containing nonidentifying descriptions--descriptions that apply to more than one object--cannot be given a Russellian analysis, and that the descriptions in these sentences should be understood as directly referential terms. But because Wettstein does not justify treating referential uses of nonidentifying descriptions differently than attributive uses (...)
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  4. John Michael Kuczynski (2010). Non-Declarative Sentences and the Theory of Definite Descriptions. Principia 8 (1):119-154.score: 90.0
    This paper shows that Russell’s theory of descriptions gives the wrong semantics for definite descriptions occurring in questions and imperatives. Depending on how that theory is applied, it either assigns nonsense to perfectly meaningful questions and assertions or it assigns meanings that diverge from the actual semantics of such sentences, even after all pragmatic and contextual variables are allowed for. Given that Russell’s theory is wrong for questions and assertions, it must be wrong for assertoric statements; for (...)
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  5. Wojciech Rostworowski (forthcoming). Definite Descriptions and the Argument From Inference. Philosophia:1-11.score: 90.0
    This article discusses the “Argument from Inference” raised against the view that definite descriptions are semantically referring expressions. According to this argument, the indicated view is inadequate since it evaluates some invalid inferences with definite descriptions as “valid” and vice versa. I argue that the Argument from Inference is basically wrong. Firstly, it is crucially based on the assumption that a proponent of the view that definite descriptions are referring expressions conceives them as directly (...)
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  6. Barbara Abbott, Issues in the Semantics and Pragmatics of Definite Descriptions in English.score: 75.0
  7. 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.score: 75.0
  8. Keith S. Donnellan (1966). Reference and Definite Descriptions. Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.score: 60.0
    Definite descriptions, I shall argue, have two possible functions. 1] They are used to refer to what a speaker wishes to talk about, but they are also used quite differently. Moreover, a definite description occurring in one and the same sentence may, on different occasions of its use, function in either way. The failure to deal with this duality of function obscures the genuine referring use of definite descriptions. The best known theories of definite (...)
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  9. Stephen Schiffer (2005). Russell's Theory of Definite Descriptions. Mind 114 (456):1135-1183.score: 60.0
    The proper statement and assessment of Russell's theory depends on one's semantic presuppositions. A semantic framework is provided, and Russell's theory formulated in terms of it. Referential uses of descriptions raise familiar problems for the theory, to which there are, at the most general level of abstraction, two possible Russellian responses. Both are considered, and both found wanting. The paper ends with a brief consideration of what the correct positive theory of definite descriptions might be, if it (...)
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  10. Howard K. Wettstein (1981). Demonstrative Reference and Definite Descriptions. Philosophical Studies 40 (2):241--57.score: 60.0
    A distinction is developed between two uses of definite descriptions, the "attributive" and the "referential." the distinction exists even in the same sentence. several criteria are given for making the distinction. it is suggested that both russell's and strawson's theories fail to deal with this distinction, although some of the things russell says about genuine proper names can be said about the referential use of definite descriptions. it is argued that the presupposition or implication that something (...)
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  11. Ernest Lepore, An Abuse of Context in Semantics: The Case of Incomplete Definite Descriptions.score: 60.0
    Critics and champions alike have fussed and fretted for well over fifty years about whether Russell’s treatment is compatible with certain alleged acceptable uses of incomplete definite descriptions,[2] where a description (the F( is incomplete just in case more than one object satisfies its nominal F, as in (1).
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  12. Richard Sharvy (1980). A More General Theory of Definite Descriptions. Philosophical Review 89 (4):607-624.score: 60.0
    A unified theory is offered to account for three types of definite descriptions: with singular, plural, & mass predicates, & to provide an account for the word the in descriptions. It is noted that B. Russell's analysis ("On Denoting," Mind, 1905, 14, 479-493) failed to account for plural & mass descriptions. The proposed theory differs from Russell's only by the substitution of the notation (less than or equal to) for Russell's =. It is suggested that for (...)
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  13. Peter Millican (1990). Content, Thoughts, and Definite Descriptions. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 64:167 - 220.score: 60.0
    In this paper,[1] I shall address the much-discussed issue of how definite descriptions should be analysed: whether they should be given a quantificational analysis in the style of Russell’s theory of descriptions,[2] or whether they should be seen instead, at least in some cases, as “genuine singular terms” or “genuine referring expressions”, whose function is to pick out a particular object in order to say something about that very object.
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  14. Berit Brogaard (2007). Sharvy's Theory of Definite Descriptions Revisited. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (2):160–180.score: 60.0
    The paper revisits Sharvy's theory of plural definite descriptions. An alternative account of plural definite descriptions building on the ideas of plural quantification and non-distributive plural predication is developed. Finally, the alternative is extrapolated to account for generic uses of definite descriptions.
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  15. Kyle Johnson, Pronouns Vs. Definite Descriptions.score: 60.0
    This paper looks at an approach to Principle C in which the disjoint reference effect triggered by definite description arises because there is a preference for using bound pronouns in those cases. Philippe Schlenker has linked this approach to the idea that the NP part of a definite description should be the most minimal in content relative to a certain communicative goal. On a popular view about what the syntax and semantics of a personal pronoun is, that should (...)
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  16. Berit Brogaard (2007). The but Not All: A Partitive Account of Plural Definite Descriptions. Mind and Language 22 (4):402–426.score: 60.0
    A number of authors in favor of a unitary account of singular descriptions have alleged that the unitary account can be extrapolated to account for plural definite descriptions. In this paper I take a closer look at this suggestion. I argue that while the unitary account is clearly onto something right, it is in the end empirically inadequate. At the end of the paper I offer a new partitive account of plural definite descriptions that avoids (...)
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  17. Joseph Margolis & Evan Fales (1976). Donnellan on Definite Descriptions. Philosophia 6 (2):289-302.score: 60.0
    Donnellan's distinction between the referential and attributive uses of definite descriptions is shown not to cover exhaustive and exclusive alternatives but to fix the termini of a continuum of cases. in fact, donnellan's distinction rests on a mixed classification: the referential use, concerned with intended referents regardless of what speakers may say about them; the attributive use, concerned with definite descriptions used in using sentences, that something or other may satisfy. given this feature of his account, (...)
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  18. ST Kuhn (2000). Embedded Definite Descriptions: Russellian Analysis and Semantic Puzzles. Mind 109 (435):443-454.score: 60.0
    A sentence containing a number of definite descriptions, each lying within the scope of its predecessor, is naturally read as asserting the uniqueness of a sequence of objects satisfying the descriptions. The project of providing a general uniform procedure for eliminating embedded definite descriptions that gets this and other logical forms right is impeded by several puzzles.
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  19. Charles B. Daniels (1990). Definite Descriptions. Studia Logica 49 (1):87 - 104.score: 60.0
    Three views on definite descriptions are summarized and discussed, including that of P. F. Strawson in which reference failure results in lack of truth value. When reference failure is allowed, a problem arises concerning Universal Instantiation. Van Fraassen solves the problem by the use of supervaluations, preserving as well such theorems as a=a, and Fa or ~Fa, even when the term a fails to refer. In the present paper a form of relevant, quasi-analytic implication is set out which (...)
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  20. I. Caponigro, L. Pearl, N. Brooks & D. Barner (2012). Acquiring the Meaning of Free Relative Clauses and Plural Definite Descriptions. Journal of Semantics 29 (2):261-293.score: 60.0
    Plural definite descriptions (e.g. the things on the plate) and free relative clauses (e.g. what is on the plate) have been argued to share the same semantic properties, despite their syntactic differences. Specifically, both have been argued to be non-quantificational expressions referring to the maximal element of a given set (e.g. the set of things on the contextually salient plate). We provide experimental support for this semantic analysis with the first reported simultaneous investigation of children’s interpretation of both (...)
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  21. A. Barber, Co-Extensive Theories and Unembedded Definite Descriptions.score: 60.0
    Russell argued, famously, that definite descriptions are not logical constituents of the sentences in which they appear. In neither of the following should we suppose that the definite description picks anything out: The King of France is bald The Prince of Wales is bald Since France is a republic, nothing could be picked out by the first; and if the semantic structures of each are the same, it cannot be the function of the second to pick anything (...)
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  22. François Recanati, Reference Through Mental Files : Indexicals and Definite Descriptions.score: 60.0
    Accounts for referential communication (and especially communication by means of definite descriptions and indexicals) in the mental file framework.
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  23. James W. Austin (1976). Denoting Phrases and Definite Descriptions. Southern Journal of Philosophy 14 (4):393-399.score: 60.0
    Russell's theory of descriptions has recently come under attack as being trivial and circular--Specifically, That it predicates uniqueness of definite descriptions only after identifying those descriptions as phrases analysable via the uniqueness criterion in the first place. It is shown that this criticism is quite off target. The confusion results largely from failure to distinguish the class of denoting phrases from its sub-Set, Definite descriptions. A few reminders are issued in hopes of facilitating the (...)
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  24. Francesco Pupa (2013). Embedded Definite Descriptions: A Novel Solution to a Familiar Problem. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (3):290-314.score: 60.0
    Paul Elbourne claims that Russellians cannot accommodate the behavior of certain embedded definite descriptions. Since Fregeans can handle such descriptions, Elbourne urges theorists to reject Russell's theory in favor of Frege's. Here, I show that such descriptions pose no threat to Russellianism. These descriptions, I argue, are neutral between the two camps.
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  25. Robert J. Stainton, Unembedded Definite Descriptions and Relevance.score: 60.0
    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 (...)
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  26. Chrystine E. Cassin (1971). 'ƎX' in Russell's Analysis of Definite Descriptions. Dialogue 10 (03):553-557.score: 60.0
    A clarification of the role of the existential quantifier in russell's controversial 14.02. how should the existential quantifier be read? the starting point of the argument is one of the issues covered by woods. a look at russell's methods of deriving propositions from functions is a necessary preliminary. the first method involves substituting constants for variables, but the second involves the use of quantifiers. for russell's analysis of definite descriptions, it is preferable to read the existential quantifier as (...)
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  27. Karel Lambert (2000). Set Theory and Definite Descriptions. Grazer Philosophische Studien 60:1-11.score: 60.0
    This paper offers an explanation of the maj or traditions in the logical treatment of definite descriptions as reactions to paradoxical naive definite descriptiontheory. The explanation closely parallels that of various set theories as reactions to paradoxical naive set theory. Indeed, naive set theory is derivable from naive definite description theory given an appropriate definition of set abstracts in terms of definite descriptions.
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  28. Michael Devitt (2009). Buenos Aires Symposium On Definite Descriptions: Responses. Análisis Filosófico 29 (2):185-192.score: 60.0
    The present article contains a defense of the thesis that definite descriptions can have referential meanings that include a descriptive component from the following objections contained in the preceding articles: (i) the idea that the thesis at stake cannot adequately account for cases of misdescriptions (Díaz Legaspe), (ii) the claim that referential descriptions should be considered to be purely referential, with no descriptive meaning component whatsoever (Skerk), and (iii) the alleged viability of a pragmatic approach according to (...)
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  29. Raymond D. Gumb (2001). An Extended Joint Consistency Theorem for a Nonconstructive Logic of Partial Terms with Definite Descriptions. Studia Logica 69 (2):279-292.score: 60.0
    The logic of partial terms (LPT) is a variety of negative free logic in which functions, as well as predicates, are strict. A companion paper focused on nonconstructive LPTwith definite descriptions, called LPD, and laid the foundation for tableaux systems by defining the concept of an LPDmodel system and establishing Hintikka's Lemma, from which the strong completeness of the corresponding tableaux system readily follows. The present paper utilizes the tableaux system in establishing an Extended Joint Consistency Theorem for (...)
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  30. Ramiro Caso (2009). Procedural Meaning and Definite Descriptions. Análisis Filosófico 29 (2):173-184.score: 60.0
    The present work explores the possibility of conciliating the truth-conditional relevance of referential uses of definite descriptions with the assignment of a univocal linguistic meaning to these constructions. It is argued that conciliation is possible if we reject the thesis, central to the debate between Russellians and ambiguity theorists, according to which referential uses are truth-conditionally relevant if and only if they constitute referential meanings. We sketch a framework within which the denial of that thesis has theoretical content, (...)
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  31. Paul Elbourne (2013). Definite Descriptions. Oup Oxford.score: 60.0
    Paul Elbourne defends the Fregean view that definite descriptions ('the table', 'the King of France') refer to individuals, and offers a new and radical account of the semantics of pronouns. He draws on a wide range of work, from Frege, Peano, and Russell to the latest findings in linguistics, philosophy of language, and psycholinguistics.
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  32. Norbert Gratzl (2009). Definite Descriptions: Language, Logic, and Elimination. In Hieke Alexander & Leitgeb Hannes (eds.), Reduction, Abstraction, Analysis. Ontos Verlag. 355.score: 60.0
    Definite descriptions are in the focus of philosophical discussion at least since Russell's famous paper "On Denoting". We present in this paper a logic with descriptions in Russell's spirit. The formulation, however, is closely related to Schütte's development of predicate logic, i.e. the formulation of the calculus uses positive- and negative-parts. With respect to this slightly more sophisticated formulation it is possible to formalize Russell's convention that is originally stated in the metalanguage of his theory of (...) within our calculus. In this paper we prove an elimination theorem for this calculus. (shrink)
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  33. Wojciech Rostworowski (2011). Rigid Designation and Definite Descriptions. Filozofia Nauki 4.score: 60.0
    The aim of this paper is to discuss an idea that referentially used definite descriptions are rigid designators or, at least, „weakly” rigid designators in some sense of this term. In the first part, the views of Nathan Salmon, Howard Wettstein and Michael Devitt are presented. The author observes that none of these positions provides a conclusive argument in the discussion on the issue in question. In the second part, it is argued that referentially used descriptions are (...)
     
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  34. Carlo Penco (2010). Essentially Incomplete Descriptions. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (2):47 - 66.score: 54.0
    In this paper I offer a defence of a Russellian analysis of the referential uses of incomplete (mis)descriptions, in a contextual setting. With regard to the debate between a unificationist and an ambiguity approach to the formal treatment of definite descriptions (introduction), I will support the former against the latter. In 1. I explain what I mean by "essentially" incomplete descriptions: incomplete descriptions are context dependent descriptions. In 2. I examine one of the best (...)
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  35. Brian Rabern (forthcoming). Descriptions Which Have Grown Capital Letters. Mind and Language.score: 54.0
    Almost entirely ignored in the linguistic theorising on names and descriptions is a hybrid form of expression which, like definite descriptions, begin with 'the' but which, like proper names, are capitalised and seem to lack descriptive content. These are expressions such as the following, 'the Holy Roman Empire', 'the Mississippi River', or 'the Space Needle'. Such capitalised descriptions are ubiquitous in natural language, but to which linguistic categories do they belong? Are they simply proper names? Or (...)
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  36. William Lanier (2013). Intentional Identity and Descriptions. Philosophical Studies:1-14.score: 54.0
    What is the semantic contribution of anaphoric links in sentences like, ‘A physicist was late to the party. He brought some bongos’? A natural first thought is that the passage entails a wide-scope existential claim that there is something that both (i) was late to the party and (ii) brought some bongos. Intentional identity sentences are counter-examples to this natural thought applied to anaphora in general. Some have tried to rescue the thought and accommodate the counter-examples by positing mythical objects. (...)
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  37. Genoveva Marti (2008). Direct Reference and Definite Descriptions. Dialectica 62 (1):43–57.score: 52.0
    According to Donnellan the characteristic mark of a referential use of a definite description is the fact that it can be used to pick out an individual that does not satisfy the attributes in the description. Friends and foes of the referential/attributive distinction have equally dismissed that point as obviously wrong or as a sign that Donnellan’s distinction lacks semantic import. I will argue that, on a strict semantic conception of what it is for an expression to be a (...)
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  38. Charles Sayward (1993). Definite Descriptions, Negation and Necessitation. Russell 13:36-47.score: 52.0
    The principal question asked in this paper is: in the case of attributive usage, is the definite description to be analyzed as Russell said or is it to be treated as a referring expression, functioning semantically as a proper name? It answers by defending the former alternative.
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  39. Marián Zouhar (2007). Definite Descriptions, Reference, and Inference. Theoria 73 (1):28-45.score: 51.0
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  40. Edward Kanterian (2009). Puzzles About Descriptive Names. Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (4):409-428.score: 48.0
    This article explores Gareth Evans’s idea that there are such things as descriptive names, i.e. referring expressions introduced by a definite description which have, unlike ordinary names, a descriptive content. Several ignored semantic and modal aspects of this idea are spelled out, including a hitherto little explored notion of rigidity, super-rigidity. The claim that descriptive names are (rigidified) descriptions, or abbreviations thereof, is rejected. It is then shown that Evans’s theory leads to certain puzzles concerning the referential status (...)
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  41. Adam Sennet (2002). An Ambiguity Test for Definite Descriptions. Philosophical Studies 111 (1):81 - 95.score: 48.0
    Donnellan (1966) makes a convincing case for two distinct uses ofdefinite descriptions. But does the difference between the usesreflects an ambiguity in the semantics of descriptions? This paperapplies a linguistic test for ambiguity to argue that the differencebetween the uses is not semantically significant.
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  42. Francis Jeffry Pelletier & Bernard Linsky (2009). Russell Vs. Frege on Definite Descriptions as Singular Terms. In Nicholas Griffin & Dale Jacquette (eds.), Russell Vs. Meinong: The Legacy of "on Denoting". Routledge.score: 48.0
    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 (...)
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  43. Barbara Abbott, Definiteness and Indefiniteness.score: 48.0
    The prototypes of definiteness and indefiniteness in English are the definite article the and the indefinite article a/an, and singular noun phrases (NPs)1 determined by them. That being the case it is not to be predicted that the concepts, whatever their content, will extend satisfactorily to other determiners or NP types. However it has become standard to extend these notions. Of the two categories definites have received rather more attention, and more than one researcher has characterized the category of (...)
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  44. John-Michael Kuczynski (2005). Why Definite Descriptions Really Are Referring Terms. Grazer Philosophische Studien 68 (1):45-79.score: 48.0
    According to Russell, '... the phi ...' means: 'exactly one object has phi and ... that object ...'. Strawson pointed out that, if somebody asked how many kings of France there were, it would be deeply inappropriate to respond by saying '... the king of France ...': the respondent appears to be presupposing the very thing that, under the circumstances, he ought to be asserting. But it would seem that if Russell's theory were correct, the respondent would be asserting exactly (...)
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  45. Peter Alward, Commentary on “A Meinongian View of Definite Descriptions”.score: 48.0
    My original reaction to Yosh’s paper was to grumble. It seemed to me to contain a number of terminological infelicities, unpersuasive arguments, and counterintuitive implications. And while I think that some of my superficial complaints are worth pointing out (and I can’t help myself), a commentary consisting only of grumbling would be neither interesting nor helpful. Paul Viminitz would describe such a commentary as “unseemly”. And so I revisited Yosh’s paper with a more sympathetic eye. My second reaction was to (...)
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  46. Alice ter Meulen (2004). Anaphoric Definite Descriptions. In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Clarendon Press.score: 48.0
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  47. A. ter Meulen (2004). Dynamic Definite Descriptions, Implicit Arguments, and Familiarity. In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Oxford University Press.score: 48.0
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  48. Christoph Schmidt-Petri (2002). Definite Descriptions and the Gettier Example. In CPNSS Discussion Paper. LSE.score: 46.0
    This paper challenges the first Gettier counterexample to the tripartite account of knowledge. Noting that 'the man who will get the job' is a description and invoking Donnellan's distinction between their 'referential' and 'attributive' uses, I argue that Smith does not actually believe that the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket. Smith's ignorance about who will get the job shows that the belief cannot be understood referentially, his ignorance of the coins in his pocket (...)
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  49. Justina Díaz Legaspe (2009). Definite Descriptions, Misdescriptions and Semantic Content: Different Ways to Solve a Tricky Puzzle. Análisis Filosófico 29 (2):159-166.score: 46.0
    Michael Devitt (2004, 2007) claims that the predicative material that constitutes complex referential expressions makes a semantic contribution to the proposition expressed. He thus deviates from direct referentialism, according to which every referential expression -either simple or complex- contributes just with an object to the proposition expressed, leaving the predicative material out of the semantic content. However, when dealing with misdescriptions, Devitt has suggested a pragmatic way out: the audience can understand what the speaker is referring to even if the (...)
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  50. Frederick Kroon (2009). Existence in the Theory of Definite Descriptions. Journal of Philosophy 106 (7):365-389.score: 45.0
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