Donnellan on definite descriptions

Philosophia 6 (2):289-302 (1976)

Authors
Evan Fales
University of Iowa
Joseph Margolis
Temple University
Abstract
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, it is easy to construct counterexamples of a hybrid nature. related views (stalnaker's, kaplan's, stampe's) are briefly canvassed
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DOI 10.1007/BF02379928
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