Kent Bach
San Francisco State University
This paper continues an ongoing debate between Michael Devitt and me on referential uses of definite descriptions. He has argued that definite descriptions have referential meanings, and I have argued that they do not. Having previously rebutted the view that referential uses are akin to particularized conversational implicatures, he now he rebuts the view that they are akin to generalized conversational implicatures. I agree that the GCI is not the best model, but I maintain that in exploiting the quantificational meaning of definite descriptions, referential uses involve a different sort of pragmatic regularity. Also, I try to bolster my objection to Devitt’s claim that the word ‘the’ is semantically ambiguous.
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References found in this work BETA

On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 1905 - Mind 14 (56):479-493.
Reference and Definite Descriptions.Keith S. Donnellan - 1966 - Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.
On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 2005 - Mind 114 (456):873 - 887.
On Referring.P. F. Strawson - 1950 - Mind 59 (235):320-344.
The Case for Referential Descriptions.Michael Devitt - 2004 - In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Oxford University Press. pp. 234--260.

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Citations of this work BETA

Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.David Braun - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (1):57-99.
Against the Argument From Convention.Anders J. Schoubye - 2012 - Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (6):515-532.
Definite Descriptions and Negative Existential Quantifiers.Paul Elbourne - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1597-1612.
Essentially Incomplete Descriptions.Carlo Penco - 2010 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (2):47 - 66.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

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