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  1. Perceptual Modes of Presentation and the Communication of de Re Thoughts.Ernesto Perini-Santos - 2006 - Facta Philosophica 8 (1-2):23-40.
  • On What is Effable.Delia Belleri - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (4):341-349.
    The Effability thesis has it that all propositions can be encoded by a sentence. By contrast, the Ineffability thesis has it that no proposition can be encoded by a sentence. In this article, I undermine an important motivation for the Ineffability thesis and advance a proposal concerning what is effable and what is not. My strategy will be as follows: First, I'll note that the Ineffability thesis assumes that propositions/thoughts are determinate. I'll point out that propositions/thoughts qua the things we (...)
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  • Bertrand Russell’s Theory of Definite Descriptions: An Examination.Mostofa Nazmul Mansur - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
    Despite its enormous popularity, Russell’s theory of definite descriptions has received various criticisms. Two of the most important objections against this theory are those arising from the Argument from Incompleteness and the Argument from Donnellan’s Distinction. According to the former although a speaker may say something true by assertively uttering a sentence containing an incomplete description , on the Russellian analysis such a sentence expresses a false proposition; so, Russell’s theory cannot adequately deal with such sentences. According to the latter (...)
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  • Grammar, Ambiguity, and Definite Descriptions.Thomas J. Hughes - 2015 - Dissertation, Durham University
  • A Description Theory of Singular Reference.Francesco Orilia - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (1):7–40.
    According to the received view, descriptivism is a dead end in an attempt to account for singular reference by proper names, indexicals and possibly even incomplete descriptions, for they require referentialism. In contrast to this, I argue for an application of the former to all kinds of singular terms, indexicals in particular, by relying on a view of incomplete descriptions as elliptical in a pragmatic sense. I thus provide a general analysis of singular reference. The proposed approach is in line (...)
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  • Definite Descriptions and Semantic Pluralism.Brendan Murday - 2014 - Philosophical Papers 43 (2):255-284.
    We pose two arguments for the view that sentences containing definite descriptions semantically express multiple propositions: a general proposition as Russell suggested, and a singular proposition featuring the individual who uniquely satisfies the description at the world-time of utterance. One argument mirrors David Kaplan's arguments that indexicals express singular propositions through a context-sensitive character. The second argument mirrors Kent Bach's and Stephen Neale's arguments for pluralist views about terms putatively triggering conventional implicatures, appositive, and nonrestrictive relative clauses. After presenting these (...)
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  • Kaplan Rigidity, Time, and Modality.Gilbert Plumer - 1988 - Logique Et Analyse 31 (123-124):329-335.
    Joseph Almog says concerning “a certain locus where Quine doesn’t exist…qua evaluation locus, we take to it [singular] propositions involving Quine [as a constituent] which we have generated in our generation locus.” This seems to be either murder, or worse, self-contradiction. It presumes that certain designators designate their designata even at loci where the designata do not exist, i.e., the designators have “Kaplan rigidity.” Against this view, this paper argues that negative existentials such as “Quine does not exist” are true (...)
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  • A Here-Now Theory of Indexicality.Gilbert Plumer - 1993 - Journal of Philosophical Research 18:193-211.
    This paper attempts to define indexicality so as to semantically distinguish indexicals from proper names and definite descriptions. The widely-accepted approach that says that indexical reference is distinctive in being dependent on context of use is criticized. A reductive approach is proposed and defended that takes an indexical to be (roughly) an expression that either is or is equivalent to ‘here’ or ‘now’, or is such that a tokening of it refers by relating something to the place and/or time that (...)
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  • Descriptions.Peter Ludlow - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Descriptions.P. Elbourne - 2007 - In Thaddeus Metz (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
     
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  • Names.Sam Cumming - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Speaker’s Intentions, Ambiguous Demonstrations, and Relativist Semantics for Demonstratives.Jakub Rudnicki - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-27.
    In this paper, I do four things. First, I argue that Recanati’s recent argument for intentionalist semantics for demonstratives is erroneous. I do this partly by suggesting that demonstrations should be treated as features of Kaplanian context. Second, I explain why the classic ambiguity objection against conventionalist positions regarding demonstratives is not in any way less problematic for intentionalism. Third, I propose a novel semantic framework for demonstratives that is able to simultaneously explain the appeal of some prominent conventionalist and (...)
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  • Mustn't Whatever is Referred to Exist?Gilbert Plumer - 1989 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 27 (4):511-528.
    Some hold that proper names and indexicals are “Kaplan rigid”: they designate their designata even in worlds where the designata don’t exist. An argument they give for this is based on the analogy between time and modality. It is shown how this argument gains forcefulness at the expense of carefulness. Then the argument is criticized as forming a part of an inconsistent philosophical framework, the one with which David Kaplan and others operate. An alternative account of a certain class of (...)
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  • In Defense of Donnellan on Proper Names.Antonio Capuano - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1289-1312.
    Kripke’s picture of how people use names to refer to things has been the dominant view in contemporary philosophy of language. When it is mentioned at all, Donnellan’s view of proper names is considered the same as Kripke’s. It is certainly true that both Donnellan and Kripke rejected descriptivism about proper names and appealed to historical facts to determine whom a speaker is referring to by using a proper name. However, the relevant historical facts Kripke and Donnellan appeal to are (...)
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  • Problems for a Quantificational Theory of Complex Demonstratives.David Braun - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (3):335 - 358.
    This paper presents a number of objections to Jeffrey King's quantificational theory of complex demonstratives. Some of these objections have to do with modality, whereas others concern attitude ascriptions. Various possible replies are considered. The debate between quantificational theorists and direct reference theorists over complex demonstratives is compared with recent debates concerning definite descriptions.
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  • Understanding the Intentions Behind the Referential/Attributive Distinction.Megan Henricks Stotts - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (2):351-362.
    In his recently published John Locke Lectures, Saul Kripke attempts to capture Keith Donnellan’s referential/attributive distinction for definite descriptions using a distinction between general and specific intentions. I argue that although Kripke’s own way of capturing the referential/attributive distinction is inadequate, we can use general and specific intentions to successfully capture the distinction if we also distinguish between primary and secondary intentions. An attributive use is characterized by the fact that the general intention is either the primary or only designative (...)
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  • Against Predicativism About Names.Jeonggyu Lee - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (1):243-261.
    According to predicativism about names, names which occur in argument positions have the same type of semantic contents as predicates. In this paper, I shall argue that these bare singular names do not have the same type of semantic contents as predicates. I will present three objections to predicativism—the modal, the epistemic, and the translation objections—and show that they succeed even against the more sophisticated versions of predicativism defended by Fara and Bach.
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  • Definite Descriptions Are Ambiguous.Felipe S. Amaral - 2008 - Analysis 68 (4):288-297.
  • Term Limits Revisited.Stephen Neale - 2008 - Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):375-442.
  • Underdetermination, Domain Restriction, and Theory Choice.Mark Bowker - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (2):205-220.
    It is often possible to know what a speaker intends to communicate without knowing what they intend to say. In such cases, speakers need not intend to say anything at all. Stanley and Szabó's influential survey of possible analysis of quantifier domain restriction is, therefore, incomplete and the arguments made by Clapp and Buchanan against Truth Conditional Compositionality and propositional speaker-meaning are flawed. Two theories should not always be viewed as incompatible when they associate the same utterance with different propositions, (...)
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  • Testimonial Knowledge Without Knowledge of What is Said.Andrew Peet - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (1):65-81.
    This article discusses the following question: what epistemic relation must audiences bear to the content of assertions in order to gain testimonial knowledge? There is a brief discussion of why this issue is of importance, followed by two counterexamples to the most intuitive answer: that in order for an audience to gain testimonial knowledge that p they must know that the speaker has asserted p. It is then suggested that the argument generalises and can be made to work on different (...)
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  • A Stereotype Semantics for Syntactically Ambiguous Slurs.Eleonora Orlando & Andrés Saab - 2020 - Analytic Philosophy 61 (2):101-129.
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  • A Puzzle About Meaning and Communication.Ray Buchanan - 2010 - Noûs 44 (2):340-371.
  • Against the Russellian Open Future.Anders J. Schoubye & Brian Rabern - 2017 - Mind 126 (504): 1217–1237.
    Todd (2016) proposes an analysis of future-directed sentences, in particular sentences of the form 'will(φ)', that is based on the classic Russellian analysis of definite descriptions. Todd's analysis is supposed to vindicate the claim that the future is metaphysically open while retaining a simple Ockhamist semantics of future contingents and the principles of classical logic, i.e. bivalence and the law of excluded middle. Consequently, an open futurist can straightforwardly retain classical logic without appeal to supervaluations, determinacy operators, or any further (...)
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  • The Argument From Binding.Paul Elbourne - 2008 - Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):89-110.
    In some utterances, some material does not seem to be explicitly expressed in words, but nevertheless seems to be part of the literal content of the utterance rather than an implicature. I will call material of this kind implicit content. The following are some relevant examples from the literature. (1) Everyone was sick. (2) I haven’t eaten. (3) It’s raining. In the case of (1), we are supposed to have asked Stephen Neale how his dinner party went last night (Neale, (...)
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  • Definite Descriptions, Reference, and Inference.Marián Zouhar - 2007 - Theoria 73 (1):28-45.
  • Saying a Bundle: Meaning, Intention, and Underdetermination.Mark Bowker - 2019 - Synthese 196 (10):4229-4252.
    People often speak loosely, uttering sentences that are plainly false on their most strict interpretation. In understanding such speakers, we face a problem of underdetermination: there is often no unique interpretation that captures what they meant. Focusing on the case of incomplete definite descriptions, this paper suggests that speakers often mean bundles of propositions. When a speaker means a bundle, their audience can know what they mean by deriving any one of its members. Rather than posing a problem for the (...)
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  • Saving Uniqueness.Massimiliano Vignolo - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (4):1177-1198.
    The purpose of this paper is to present a theory of referential uses of definite descriptions that is alternative to Neale’s theory of Gödelian completions but nonetheless assumes two tenets of Neale’s view: the Russellian analysis of definite descriptions is basically correct, i.e. definite descriptions are quantified NPs and referential uses are not to be explained in terms of the Gricean distinction between what is said and what is meant. The proposition said is the intuitive content of an assertion as (...)
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  • Impossible Interpretations, Impossible Demands.Francesco Pupa - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (3):269-287.
    While there has been much ado about the innumerable ways a speaker can alter the reach of her quantifier phrases, little fuss has been made over the fact that some forms of alteration are, as it were, impossible to pull off. These impossible interpretations cast a shadow over both syntactic and free enrichment approaches to the phenomenon of quantifier domain restriction. Indeed, I argue that these impossible interpretations help to undermine the presupposition that domain restriction is amenable to a uniform (...)
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  • You Can Say What You Think: Vindicating the Effability of Our Thoughts.Delia Belleri - 2014 - Synthese 191 (18):4431-4450.
    The thesis of Ineffability has it that no proposition can be fully expressed by a sentence, this meaning that no sentence-type, or even sentence-token whose indexicality and ambiguities have been resolved, can fully encode a proposition. The thesis of the propositionality of thoughts has it that thoughts are propositional. An implication of the joint endorsement of these two theses is that thoughts are ineffable. The aim of this paper is to argue that this is not the case: there are effable (...)
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  • Explicatures Are NOT Cancellable.Alessandro Capone - 2013 - In Alessandro Capone, Franco Lo Piparo & Marco Carapezza (eds.), Perspectives on linguistic pragmatics. Springer. pp. 131-151.
    Explicatures are not cancellable. Theoretical considerations.
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  • Russell on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Indexicals.Lawrence Roberts - 1984 - Philosophia 14 (1-2):111-127.
  • Descriptions and Uniqueness.Zoltán Gendler Szabó - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 101 (1):29-57.
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  • Temporal Indexicals.Quentin Smith - 1990 - Erkenntnis 32 (1):5--25.
  • The Figure-Ground Model for the Explanation of the Determination of Indexical Reference.Lawrence D. Roberts - 1986 - Synthese 68 (3):441 - 486.
  • The Representation of Gappy Sentences in Four-Valued Semantics.Genoveva Martí & José Martínez-Fernández - 2021 - Semiotica 2021 (240):145-163.
    Three-valued logics are standardly used to formalize gappy languages, i.e., interpreted languages in which sentences can be true, false or neither. A three-valued logic that assigns the same truth value to all gappy sentences is, in our view, insufficient to capture important semantic differences between them. In this paper we will argue that there are two different kinds of pathologies that should be treated separately and we defend the usefulness of a four-valued logic to represent adequately these two types of (...)
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  • ¿Descripciones definidas referenciales?Pierre Baumann - 2011 - Princípios 18 (29):285-298.
    This paper questions the claim that definite descriptions have a referential semantics. Two possible definitions of “referential meaning” are discussed, and it is argued that definite descriptions are not referential according to either one. Devitt’s (2004, 2007) recent account of descriptions’ referential meaning is also briefly examined, and some problems with it are pointed out. It is suggested (though not shown) that the troubles with specifying exactly in what sense definite descriptions are referential point to the incoherence of the very (...)
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  • Donnellan's Distinction/Kripke's Test.M. Reimer - 1998 - Analysis 58 (2):89-100.
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  • Incomplete Definite Descriptions, Demonstrative Completion and Redundancy.Isidora Stojanovic - unknown
    Slightly modified version, as it appeared in Striegnitz, K. et al. Special Issue: The Language Sections of the ESSLLI-01 Student Session, Human Language Technology Theses. 2002.
     
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  • Definite Descriptions and the Gettier Example.Christoph Schmidt-Petri & London School of Economics and Political Science - 2002 - CPNSS Discussion Papers.
    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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  • Representation Without Thought: Confusion, Reference, and Communication.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2015 - Dissertation, CUNY Graduate Center
    I develop and argue for a novel theory of the mental state of identity confusion. I also argue that this mental state can corrupt the proper function of singular terms in linguistic communication. Finally, I propose a theory according to which identity confusion should be treated as a the source of a new sort of linguistic performance error, similar to malapropism, slips of the tongue, and so-called intentional obfuscation (inducing false belief by manipulating language in specific ways). -/- Going into (...)
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  • A Lesson From Referential Uses of Definite Descriptions.Adriana Silva Graça - 2007 - Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies 27 (1).
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  • Reference and Modality: A Theory of Intensions.Alik Pelman - 2007 - Dissertation, University of London, UCL
    The study of reference often leads to addressing fundamental issues in semantics, metaphysics and epistemology; this suggests that reference is closely linked to the three realms. The overall purpose of this study is to elucidate the structure of some of these links, through a close examination of the “mechanism” of reference. As in many other enquiries, considering the possible (i.e., the modal,) in addition to the actual proves very helpful in clarifying and explicating insights. The reference of a term with (...)
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  • Logical Form and the Vernacular.Reinaldo Elugardo & Robert J. Stainton - 2001 - Mind and Language 16 (4):393–424.
    Vernacularism is the view that logical forms are fundamentally assigned to natural language expressions, and are only derivatively assigned to anything else, e.g., propositions, mental representations, expressions of symbolic logic, etc. In this paper, we argue that Vernacularism is not as plausible as it first appears because of non-sentential speech. More specifically, there are argument-premises, meant by speakers of non-sentences, for which no natural language paraphrase is readily available in the language used by the speaker and the hearer. The speaker (...)
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  • Has the Problem of Incompleteness Rested on a Mistake?Ray Buchanan & Gary Ostertag - 2005 - Mind 114 (456):889-913.
    A common objection to Russell's theory of descriptions concerns incomplete definite descriptions: uses of (for example) ‘the book is overdue’ in contexts where there is clearly more than one book. Many contemporary Russellians hold that such utterances will invariably convey a contextually determined complete proposition, for example, that the book in your briefcase is overdue. But according to the objection this gets things wrong: typically, when a speaker utters such a sentence, no facts about the context or the speaker's communicative (...)
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  • The Real Distinction Between Descriptions and Indexicals.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2005 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 24 (3):49-74.
    Some contemporary semantic views defend an asymmetry thesis concerning defi-nite descriptions and indexicals. Semantically, indexicals are devices of singular refer-ence; they contribute objects to the contents of the speech acts made with utterances including them. Definite descriptions, on the other hand, are generalized quantifiers, behaving roughly the way Russell envisaged in “On Denoting”. The asymmetry thesis depends on the existence of a sufficiently clear-cut distinction between semantics and pragmatics, because indexicals and descriptions are often used in ways that apparently contradict (...)
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  • General Terms and Rigidity: Another Solution to the Trivialization Problem.Eleonora Orlando - 2014 - Manuscrito 37 (1):49-80.
    In this paper I am concerned with the problem of applying the notion of rigidity to general terms. In Naming and Necessity, Kripke has clearly suggested that we should include some general terms among the rigid ones, namely, those common nouns semantically correlated with natural substances, species and phenomena, in general, natural kinds -'water', 'tiger', 'heat'- and some adjectives -'red', 'hot', 'loud'. However, the notion of rigidity has been defined for singular terms; after all, the notion that Kripke has provided (...)
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  • Russellian Description and Smith’s Suicide.Stefano Predelli - 2003 - Acta Analytica 18 (1-2):125-141.
    When discussing the distinction between referential and attributive uses of definite descriptions, Keith Donnellan also mentions cases such as ‘Smith’s murderer is insane’, 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 ‘Smith’s murderer is insane’ 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, (...)
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  • Russellianism and Referential Uses of Descriptions.Neil Feit - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 115 (2):99 - 122.
    A number of philosophers continue to argue, inthe spirit of Keith Donnellans classic paperReference and Definite Descriptions, thatthere is more to the semantics of definitedescriptions than Russells theory predicts. If their arguments are correct, then a completesemantic theory for sentences that containdefinite descriptions will have to provide morethan one set of truth conditions. A unitaryRussellian analysis of sentences of the form`the F is G would not suffice. In this paper,I examine a recent line of argument for thisanti-Russellian conclusion.Unlike earlier Donnellan-style (...)
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  • Descriptions: An Annotated Bibliography.Berit Brogaard - 2010 - Oxford Annotated Bibliographies Online.
    Descriptions are phrases of the form ‘an F’, ‘the F’, ‘Fs’, ‘the Fs’ and NP's F (e.g. ‘John's mother’). They can be indefinite (e.g., ‘an F’ and ‘Fs’), definite (e.g. ‘the F’ and ‘the Fs’), singular (e.g., ‘an F’, ‘the F’) or plural (e.g., ‘the Fs’, ‘Fs’). In English plural indefinite descriptions lack an article and are for that reason also known as ‘bare plurals’. How to account for the semantics and pragmatics of descriptions has been one of the central (...)
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