Ilhan Inan
Koc University
In this essay I argue that given Donnellan’s formulation of the attributive uses of definite descriptions, as well as Kripke’s [6] and Salmon’s [10] generalized accounts, most uses of definite descriptions that are taken to be attributive turn out not to be so. In building up to my main thesis, I first consider certain problematic cases of uses of definite descriptions that do not neatly fit into any category. I then argue that, in general, a complete definite description we use is complex, in which there is an embedded singular term that is used referentially. From this I conclude that an attributive use of a definite description is an extremely rare linguistic phenomenon, much less frequent than what Donnellan, Kripke, and Salmon have presupposed; so much so that the standard examples given by Donnellan of the attributive use of definite descriptions do not qualify as attributive
Keywords Attributive  Definite Descriptions
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References found in this work BETA

Reference and Definite Descriptions.Keith S. Donnellan - 1966 - Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.
Speaker's Reference and Semantic Reference.Saul A. Kripke - 1977 - In Peter A. French, Theodore E. Uehling Jr & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Studies in the Philosophy of Language. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 255-296.
Speaker’s Reference and Semantic Reference.Saul Kripke - 1977 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 2 (1):255-276.
Putting Humpty Dumpty Together Again.Keith S. Donnellan - 1968 - Philosophical Review 77 (2):203-215.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.Nathan Salmon - 2004 - In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Oxford University Press. pp. 230--260.

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