Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 27 (1):30-40 (forthcoming)

In this paper, I argue that contrary to the approach widely taken in the literature, it is possible to retain Russell's theory of definite descriptions and grant some semantic significance to the distinction between the attributive and the referential use. The core of the argumentation is based on recognition of the so-called "roundabout" way in which the use of a definite description may be significant to the semantic features of the sentence: it is a case where the use of a description contributes to the semantics of the sentence by affecting another expression of that sentence. I offer an appropriate example which illustrates the case in question and I demonstrate that the semantic difference between the two uses can be easily captured by Russell's account.
Keywords Attributive Use  Definite Descriptions  Referential Use  Russell's Theory  Semantic Significance
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 60,949
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reference and Definite Descriptions.Keith S. Donnellan - 1966 - Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.
The Case for Referential Descriptions.Michael Devitt - 2004 - In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Oxford University Press. pp. 234--260.
Descriptions: Points of Reference.Kent Bach - 2004 - In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Clarendon Press. pp. 189-229.
Referential/Attributive: A Contextualist Proposal.Francois Recanati - 1989 - Philosophical Studies 56 (3):217 - 249.
Descriptions.Peter Ludlow - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
25 ( #428,586 of 2,439,374 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #433,984 of 2,439,374 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes