Synthese 192 (5):1393-1412 (2015)
AbstractThis paper is concerned with an intuitive contrast that arises when we consider sentences containing empty definite descriptions. A sentence like ‘The king of France is bald’ appears neither true nor false, while a sentence like ‘My friend was visited by the king of France’ appears false. Recently, Stephen Yablo has suggested an account of this intuitive contrast. Yablo’s account is particularly interesting, since it has important consequences for the ontological commitments of number sentences like ‘The number of planets is even’. However, the paper argues that Yablo’s account is not convincing and that it can thus not establish these consequences. Further, it develops a Strawsonian account of the intuitive contrast. The developed account allows us to draw important conclusions regarding the correct analysis of definite descriptions and of existence sentences containing definite descriptions.
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References found in this work
Reference and Definite Descriptions.Keith S. Donnellan - 1966 - Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.
Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality.Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.) - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
Grounding: An Opinionated Introduction.Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1-36.
Citations of this work
Nonexistence and Aboutness: The Bandersnatches of Dubuque.Stephen Yablo - 2020 - Critica 52 (154).
Definite Descriptions and Negative Existential Quantifiers.Paul Elbourne - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1597-1612.
Should Metaphysics Care About Linguistics?Tobias Rosefeldt - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (2):161-178.
Content Extraction, Ontological Mootness and Nominalism: Difficulties on the Easy Road.Andrej Jandrić - 2020 - Erkenntnis:1-13.