Dialectica 62 (1):43-57 (2008)

Authors
Genoveva Martí
ICREA And University Of Barcelona
Abstract
According to Donnellan the characteristic mark of a referential use of a definite description is the fact that it can be used to pick out an individual that does not satisfy the attributes in the description. Friends and foes of the referential/attributive distinction have equally dismissed that point as obviously wrong or as a sign that Donnellan's distinction lacks semantic import. I will argue that, on a strict semantic conception of what it is for an expression to be a genuine referential device, Donnellan is right: if a use of a definite description is referential, it must be possible for it to refer to an object independently of any attributes associated with the description, including those that constitute its conventional meaning.
Keywords Definite descriptions  Referential uses  Direct reference
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DOI 10.1111/dltc.2008.62.issue-1
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References found in this work BETA

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
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Citations of this work BETA

Mental Files.François Recanati - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
Descriptions and Tests for Polysemy.Andrei Moldovan - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (3):229-249.
Donnellan's Misdescriptions and Loose Talk.Carlo Penco - 2017 - In Kepa Korta Maria De Ponte (ed.), Reference and Representation in Language and Thought. Oxford (UK): Oxford University Press. pp. 104-125.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

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