Results for 'descriptions'

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  1. Decision Procedures, Moral Criteria, and the Problem of Relevant Descriptions in Kant's Ethics.Mark Timmons - 1998 - In B. Sharon Byrd, Joachim Hruschka & Jan C. Joerdan (eds.), Jahrbuch Für Recht Und Ethik. Duncker Und Humblot.
    I argue that the Universal Law formulation of the Categorical Imperative is best interpreted as a test or decision procedure of moral rightness and not as a criterion intended to explain the deontic status of actions. Rather, the Humanity formulation is best interpreted as a moral criterion. I also argue that because the role of a moral criterion is to explain, and thus specify what makes an action right or wrong, Kant's Humanity formulation yields a theory of relevant descriptions.
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  2.  46
    Descriptions as Variables.Paolo Santorio - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):41-59.
    On a popular view dating back to Russell, descriptions, both definite and indefinite alike, work syntactically and semantically like quantifiers. I have an argument against Russell's view. The argument supports a different picture: descriptions can behave syntactically and semantically like variables. This basic idea can be implemented in very different systematic analyses, but, whichever way one goes, there will be a significant departure from Russell. The claim that descriptions are variables is not new: what I offer is (...)
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  3. Descriptions Which Have Grown Capital Letters.Brian Rabern - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (3):292-319.
    Almost entirely ignored in the linguistic theorising on names and descriptions is a hybrid form of expression which, like definite descriptions, begin with 'the' but which, like proper names, are capitalised and seem to lack descriptive content. These are expressions such as the following, 'the Holy Roman Empire', 'the Mississippi River', or 'the Space Needle'. Such capitalised descriptions are ubiquitous in natural language, but to which linguistic categories do they belong? Are they simply proper names? Or are (...)
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  4.  24
    Carnap’s Theory of Descriptions and its Problems.Jan Heylen - 2010 - Studia Logica 94 (3):355-380.
    Carnap's theory of descriptions was restricted in two ways. First, the descriptive conditions had to be non-modal. Second, only primitive predicates or the identity predicate could be used to predicate something of the descriptum. The motivating reasons for these two restrictions that can be found in the literature will be critically discussed. Both restrictions can be relaxed, but Carnap's theory can still be blamed for not dealing adequately with improper descriptions.
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  5. Ghosts, Murderers, and the Semantics of Descriptions.Anders Johan Schoubye - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):496-533.
    It is widely agreed that sentences containing a non-denoting description embedded in the scope of a propositional attitude verb have true de dicto interpretations, and Russell's (1905) analysis of definite descriptions is often praised for its simple analysis of such cases, cf. e.g. Neale (1990). However, several people, incl. Elbourne (2005, 2009), Heim (1991), and Kripke (2005), have contested this by arguing that Russell's analysis yields incorrect predictions in non-doxastic attitude contexts. Heim and Elbourne have subsequently argued that once (...)
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  6. Carnap's Theory of Descriptions and its Problems.Jan Heylen - 2010 - Studia Logica 94 (3):355-380.
    Carnap's theory of descriptions was restricted in two ways. First, the descriptive conditions had to be non-modal. Second, only primitive predicates or the identity predicate could be used to predicate something of the descriptum . The motivating reasons for these two restrictions that can be found in the literature will be critically discussed. Both restrictions can be relaxed, but Carnap's theory can still be blamed for not dealing adequately with improper descriptions.
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  7.  30
    On the Observational Equivalence of Continuous-Time Deterministic and Indeterministic Descriptions.Werndl Charlotte - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (2):193-225.
    On the observational equivalence of continuous-time deterministic and indeterministic descriptions Content Type Journal Article Pages 193-225 DOI 10.1007/s13194-010-0011-5 Authors Charlotte Werndl, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE UK Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 2.
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  8.  8
    Descriptions and Non-Doxastic Attitude Ascriptions.Wojciech Rostworowski - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    This paper addresses a certain objection to the quantificational theory of definite descriptions. According to this objection, the quantificational account cannot provide correct interpretations of definite descriptions embedded in the non-doxastic attitude ascriptions and therefore ought to be rejected. In brief, the objection says that the quantificational theory is committed to the view that a sentence of the form “The F is G” is equivalent to the claim that there is a unique F and it is G, while (...)
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  9.  87
    The Existence Entailments of Definite Descriptions.Paul Elbourne - 2010 - Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (1):1-10.
    Contrary to a claim made by Kaplan (Mind 114:933–1003, 2005) and Neale (Mind 114:809–871, 2005), the readings available to sentences containing definite descriptions embedded under propositional attitude verbs and conditionals do pose a significant problem for the Russellian theory of definite descriptions. The Fregean theory of descriptions, on the other hand, deals easily with the relevant data.
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  10.  50
    Russell's Revenge: A Problem for Bivalent Fregean Theories of Descriptions.Jan Heylen - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2).
    Fregean theories of descriptions as terms have to deal with improper descriptions. To save bivalence various proposals have been made that involve assigning referents to improper descriptions. While bivalence is indeed saved, there is a price to be paid. Instantiations of the same general scheme, viz. the one and only individual that is F and G is G, are not only allowed but even required to have different truth values.
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  11. Review of "Descriptions and Beyond". [REVIEW]John-Michael Kuczynski - 2006 - Pragmatics and Cognition 14 (1):196-204.
    In order to understand a sentence, one must know the relevant semantic rules. Those rules are not learned in a vacuum; they are given to one through one's senses. As a result, knowledge of semantic rules sometimes comes bundled with semantically irrelevant, but cognitively non-innocuous, knowledge of the circumstances in which those rules were learned. Thus, one must work through non-semantic information in order to know what is literally meant by a given sentence-token. A consequence is that one's knowledge of (...)
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  12.  50
    Intentional Identity and Descriptions.William Lanier - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (2):289-302.
    What is the semantic contribution of anaphoric links in sentences like, ‘A physicist was late to the party. He brought some bongos’? A natural first thought is that the passage entails a wide-scope existential claim that there is something that both (i) was late to the party and (ii) brought some bongos. Intentional identity sentences are counter-examples to this natural thought applied to anaphora in general. Some have tried to rescue the thought and accommodate the counter-examples by positing mythical objects. (...)
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  13. Non-Declarative Sentences and the Theory of Descriptions.John-Michael Kuczynski - 2004 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 8 (1).
    A consequence of Russell's Theory of Descriptions is that non-indicative sentences (questions and imperatives) either have meanings that are obviously distinct from their actual meanings, even after all pragmatic and contextual variables are allowed for, or are categorically non-sensical. Therefore, the Theory of Descriptions is false.
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  14. Essentially Incomplete Descriptions.Carlo Penco - 2010 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (2):47 - 66.
    In this paper I offer a defence of a Russellian analysis of the referential uses of incomplete (mis)descriptions, in a contextual setting. With regard to the debate between a unificationist and an ambiguity approach to the formal treatment of definite descriptions (introduction), I will support the former against the latter. In 1. I explain what I mean by "essentially" incomplete descriptions: incomplete descriptions are context dependent descriptions. In 2. I examine one of the best versions (...)
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  15.  34
    Incomplete Descriptions and Indistinguishable Participants.Paul Elbourne - 2016 - Natural Language Semantics 24 (1):1-43.
    The implicit content associated with incomplete definite descriptions is contributed in the form of definite descriptions of situations. A definite description of this kind is contributed by a small structure in the syntax, which is interpreted, in general terms, as ‘the situation that bears R to s’.
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  16.  96
    The Tractatus Theory of Descriptions.Max Rosenkrantz - 2009 - Theoria 75 (4):252-271.
    In this article I construe Russell's definite description notation as a fragment of an "ideal language"– a language in which, as Russell puts it in the "Logical Atomism" lectures, "the words in a proposition correspond one by one with the components of the corresponding fact." Russell's notation – containing as it does variables, quantifiers and the identity sign – commits him to an ontology that is lavish indeed. It thus conflicts with the spirit of the theory of descriptions, which (...)
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  17.  33
    The Problem of False Belief and the Failure of the Theory of Descriptions.Max Rosenkrantz - 2016 - Theoria 82 (1):56-80.
    In this article I argue that Russell's multiple-relation theory of judgment is a continuation of the campaign against Frege and Meinong begun in “On Denoting” with the theory of descriptions. More precisely, I hold that the problem of false belief, to which the multiple-relation theory is presented as a solution, emerges quite naturally out of the problem context of “On Denoting” and threatens to give new life to the theories Russell purports to have laid to rest there, and that (...)
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  18.  58
    Definite Descriptions and Semantic Pluralism.Brendan Murday - 2014 - Philosophical Papers 43 (2):255-284.
    We pose two arguments for the view that sentences containing definite descriptions semantically express multiple propositions: a general proposition as Russell suggested, and a singular proposition featuring the individual who uniquely satisfies the description at the world-time of utterance. One argument mirrors David Kaplan's arguments that indexicals express singular propositions through a context-sensitive character. The second argument mirrors Kent Bach's and Stephen Neale's arguments for pluralist views about terms putatively triggering conventional implicatures, appositive, and nonrestrictive relative clauses. After presenting (...)
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  19.  77
    Incomplete Descriptions and (Reverse) Sobel Sequences.Mirja Annalena Holst - 2013 - Analysis 73 (1):26-32.
    A challenge for theories of incomplete descriptions is to capture the consistency of ‘Sobel sequences’ and to account for an asymmetry in the acceptability of utterances of Sobel sequences and ‘reverse Sobel sequences’. David Lewis’s theory of incomplete descriptions answers, unlike many other theories, the challenge from Sobel sequences, but it does not answer the challenge from reverse Sobel sequences. This article presents another asymmetry in the availability of anaphoric readings of Sobel sequences and reverse Sobel sequences, and (...)
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  20.  47
    Wettstein on Definite Descriptions.William K. Blackburn - 1988 - Philosophical Studies 53 (2):263 - 278.
    I critically examine an argument, due to howard wettstein, purporting to show that sentences containing definite descriptions are semantically ambiguous between referential and attributive readings. Wettstein argues that many sentences containing nonidentifying descriptions--descriptions that apply to more than one object--cannot be given a Russellian analysis, and that the descriptions in these sentences should be understood as directly referential terms. But because Wettstein does not justify treating referential uses of nonidentifying descriptions differently than attributive uses of (...)
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  21. Public Proper Names, Idiolectal Identifying Descriptions.Stavroula Glezakos - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (3):317-326.
    Direct reference theorists tell us that proper names have no semantic value other than their bearers, and that the connection between name and bearer is unmediated by descriptions or descriptive information. And yet, these theorists also acknowledge that we produce our name-containing utterances with descriptions on our minds. After arguing that direct reference proponents have failed to give descriptions their due, I show that appeal to speaker-associated descriptions is required if the direct reference portrayal of speakers (...)
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  22.  31
    Incomplete Symbols — Definite Descriptions Revisited.Norbert Gratzl - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (5):489-506.
    We investigate incomplete symbols, i.e. definite descriptions with scope-operators. Russell famously introduced definite descriptions by contextual definitions; in this article definite descriptions are introduced by rules in a specific calculus that is very well suited for proof-theoretic investigations. That is to say, the phrase ‘incomplete symbols’ is formally interpreted as to the existence of an elimination procedure. The last section offers semantical tools for interpreting the phrase ‘no meaning in isolation’ in a formal way.
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  23.  72
    Descriptions, Ambiguity, and Representationalist Theories of Interpretation.Philipp Koralus - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):275-290.
    Abstract Theories of descriptions tend to involve commitments about the ambiguity of descriptions. For example, sentences containing descriptions are widely taken to be ambiguous between de re , de dicto , and intermediate interpretations and are sometimes thought to be ambiguous between the former and directly referential interpretations. I provide arguments to suggest that none of these interpretations are due to ambiguities (or indexicality). On the other hand, I argue that descriptions are ambiguous between the above (...)
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  24.  57
    Kripke's Metalinguistic Apparatus and the Analysis of Definite Descriptions.Edward Kanterian - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (3):363-387.
    This article reconsiders Kripke’s ( 1977 , in: French, Uehling & Wettstein (eds) Contemporary perspectives in the philosophy of language, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis) pragmatic, univocal account of the attributive-referential distinction in terms of a metalinguistic apparatus consisting of semantic reference and speaker reference. It is argued that Kripke’s strongest methodological argument supporting the pragmatic account, the parallel applicability of the apparatus to both names and definite descriptions, is successful only if descriptions are treated as designators in (...)
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  25.  30
    Strategies for Human‐Driven Robot Comprehension of Spatial Descriptions by Older Adults in a Robot Fetch Task.Laura Carlson, Marjorie Skubic, Jared Miller, Zhiyu Huo & Tatiana Alexenko - 2014 - Topics in Cognitive Science 6 (3):513-533.
    This contribution presents a corpus of spatial descriptions and describes the development of a human-driven spatial language robot system for their comprehension. The domain of application is an eldercare setting in which an assistive robot is asked to “fetch” an object for an elderly resident based on a natural language spatial description given by the resident. In Part One, we describe a corpus of naturally occurring descriptions elicited from a group of older adults within a virtual 3D home (...)
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  26.  6
    Incomplete Descriptions and the Underdetermination Problem.Andrei Moldovan - 2015 - Research in Language 13 (4):352–367.
    The purpose of this paper is to discuss two phenomena related to the semantics of definite descriptions: that of incomplete uses of descriptions, and that of the underdetermination of referential uses of descriptions. The Russellian theorist has a way of accounting for incomplete uses of descriptions by appealing to an account of quantifier domain restriction, such as the one proposed in Stanley and Szabó (2000a). But, I argue, the Russellian is not the only one in a (...)
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  27.  14
    Definite Descriptions and the Argument From Inference.Wojciech Rostworowski - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (4):1099-1109.
    This article discusses the “Argument from Inference” raised against the view that definite descriptions are semantically referring expressions. According to this argument, the indicated view is inadequate since it evaluates some invalid inferences with definite descriptions as “valid” and vice versa. I argue that the Argument from Inference is basically wrong. Firstly, it is crucially based on the assumption that a proponent of the view that definite descriptions are referring expressions conceives them as directly referring terms, i.e., (...)
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  28.  31
    Semantic Closure, Descriptions and Non-Triviality.Graham Priest - 1999 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 28 (6):549--558.
    It is known that a semantically closed theory with description may well be trivial if the principles concerning denotation and descriptions are formulated in certain ways, even if the underlying logic is paraconsistent. This paper establishes the nontriviality of a semantically closed theory with a natural, but non-extensional, description operator.
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  29.  20
    Co-Extensive Theories and Unembedded Definite Descriptions.Alex Barber - 2005 - In Reinaldo Elugardo & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), Ellipsis and Nonsentential Speech. Springer. pp. 185–201.
    Russell argued, famously, that definite descriptions are not logical constituents of the sentences in which they appear. In neither of the following should we suppose that the definite description picks anything out: The King of France is bald The Prince of Wales is bald Since France is a republic, nothing could be picked out by the first; and if the semantic structures of each are the same, it cannot be the function of the second to pick anything out either. (...)
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  30.  10
    Non-Declarative Sentences and the Theory of Definite Descriptions.John Michael Kuczynski - 2010 - Principia 8 (1):119-154.
    This paper shows that Russell’s theory of descriptions gives the wrong semantics for definite descriptions occurring in questions and imperatives. Depending on how that theory is applied, it either assigns nonsense to perfectly meaningful questions and assertions or it assigns meanings that diverge from the actual semantics of such sentences, even after all pragmatic and contextual variables are allowed for. Given that Russell’s theory is wrong for questions and assertions, it must be wrong for assertoric statements; for the (...)
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  31.  5
    On Qualitative Route Descriptions.Matthias Westphal, Stefan Wölfl, Bernhard Nebel & Jochen Renz - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (2):177-201.
    The generation of route descriptions is a fundamental task of navigation systems. A particular problem in this context is to identify routes that can easily be described and processed by users. In this work, we present a framework for representing route networks with the qualitative information necessary to evaluate and optimize route descriptions with regard to ambiguities in them. We identify different agent models that differ in how agents are assumed to process route descriptions while navigating through (...)
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  32. Descriptions and Unknowability.Jan Heylen - 2010 - Analysis 70 (1):50-52.
    In a recent paper Horsten embarked on a journey along the limits of the domain of the unknowable. Rather than knowability simpliciter, he considered a priori knowability, and by the latter he meant absolute provability, i.e. provability that is not relativized to a formal system. He presented an argument for the conclusion that it is not absolutely provable that there is a natural number of which it is true but absolutely unprovable that it has a certain property. The argument depends (...)
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  33. Descriptions.Stephen Neale - 1990 - MIT Press.
    When philosophers talk about descriptions, usually they have in mind singular definite descriptions such as ‘the finest Greek poet’ or ‘the positive square root of nine’, phrases formed with the definite article ‘the’. English also contains indefinite descriptions such as ‘a fine Greek poet’ or ‘a square root of nine’, phrases formed with the indefinite article ‘a’ (or ‘an’); and demonstrative descriptions (also known as complex demonstratives) such as ‘this Greek poet’ and ‘that tall woman’, formed (...)
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  34. Issues in the Semantics and Pragmatics of Definite Descriptions in English.Barbara Abbott - 2008 - In Nancy Hedberg & Jeanette Gundel (eds.), Reference: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Oxford University Press. pp. 61-72.
  35.  32
    A Reply to Szabó's “Descriptions and Uniqueness”.Abbott Barbara - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 113 (3):223 - 231.
    Szabó follows Heim in viewing familiarity, rather than uniqueness, as the essence of the definite article, but attempts to derive both familiarity and uniqueness implications pragmatically, assigning a single semantic interpretation to both the definite and indefinite articles. I argue that if there is no semantic distinction between the articles, then there is no way to derive these differences between them pragmatically.
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  36.  95
    Logic. Of Descriptions. A New Approach to the Foundations of Mathematics and Science.Joanna Golińska-Pilarek & Taneli Huuskonen - 2012 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 27:63-94.
    We study a new formal logic LD introduced by Prof. Grzegorczyk. The logic is based on so-called descriptive equivalence, corresponding to the idea of shared meaning rather than shared truth value. We construct a semantics for LD based on a new type of algebras and prove its soundness and completeness. We further show several examples of classical laws that hold for LD as well as laws that fail. Finally, we list a number of open problems. -/- .
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  37.  87
    Issues in the Semantics and Pragmatics of Definite Descriptions in English.Barbara Abbott - manuscript
  38.  40
    Definite Descriptions, Reference, and Inference.Marián Zouhar - 2007 - Theoria 73 (1):28-45.
  39.  40
    Names, Descriptions, and Assertion.Ray Buchanan - 2014 - In Zsu-Wei Hung (ed.), Communicative Action. Springer. pp. 03-15.
    According to Millian Descriptivism, while the semantic content of a linguistically simple proper name is just its referent, we often use sentences containing such expressions “to make assertions…that are, in part, descriptive” (Soames 2008). Against this view, I show, following Ted Sider and David Braun (2006), that simple sentences containing names are never used to assert descriptively enriched propositions. In addition, I offer a diagnosis as to where the argument for Millian Descriptivism goes wrong. Once we appreciate the distinctive way (...)
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  40.  15
    Role of Details in the Long-Term Recognition of Pictures and Verbal Descriptions.Thomas O. Nelson, Jacqueline Metzler & David A. Reed - 1974 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 102 (1):184.
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  41.  91
    The Difference Between Definite and Indefinite Descriptions.Barbara Abbott - manuscript
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  42.  37
    Names, Descriptions and Quantifiers.John Collins - manuscript
  43.  13
    Definite Descriptions, Misdescriptions and Semantic Content: Different Ways to Solve a Tricky Puzzle.Justina Díaz Legaspe - 2009 - Análisis Filosófico 29 (2):159-166.
    Michael Devitt claims that the predicative material that constitutes complex referential expressions makes a semantic contribution to the proposition expressed. He thus deviates from direct referentialism, according to which every referential expression -either simple or complex- contributes just with an object to the proposition expressed, leaving the predicative material out of the semantic content. However, when dealing with misdescriptions, Devitt has suggested a pragmatic way out: the audience can understand what the speaker is referring to even if the object does (...)
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  44.  2
    Pattern Recognition: Differences Between Matching Patterns to Patterns and Matching Descriptions to Patterns.Gillian Cohen - 1969 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 82 (3):427.
  45. Reference and Definite Descriptions.Keith S. Donnellan - 1966 - Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.
    Definite descriptions, I shall argue, have two possible functions. 1] They are used to refer to what a speaker wishes to talk about, but they are also used quite differently. Moreover, a definite description occurring in one and the same sentence may, on different occasions of its use, function in either way. The failure to deal with this duality of function obscures the genuine referring use of definite descriptions. The best known theories of definite descriptions, those of (...)
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  46. Definite Descriptions.Paul Elbourne - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    Paul Elbourne defends the Fregean view that definite descriptions ('the table', 'the King of France') refer to individuals, and offers a new and radical account of the semantics of pronouns. He draws on a wide range of work, from Frege, Peano, and Russell to the latest findings in linguistics, philosophy of language, and psycholinguistics.
     
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  47.  13
    Definite Descriptions and Negative Existential Quantifiers.Paul Elbourne - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-16.
    Previous theorists have claimed that Russell’s theory of definite descriptions gives the wrong truth conditions to sentences in which definite descriptions are embedded under certain other operators; but the other operators used, such as conditionals and propositional attitude verbs, have introduced intensional and hyperintensional complications that might be thought to obscure the point against Russell. This paper shows that the same kind of problem arises when the operator in question allows the context to be extensional. It is further (...)
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  48.  95
    Demonstrative Reference and Definite Descriptions.Howard K. Wettstein - 1981 - Philosophical Studies 40 (2):241--257.
    A distinction is developed between two uses of definite descriptions, the "attributive" and the "referential." the distinction exists even in the same sentence. several criteria are given for making the distinction. it is suggested that both russell's and strawson's theories fail to deal with this distinction, although some of the things russell says about genuine proper names can be said about the referential use of definite descriptions. it is argued that the presupposition or implication that something fits the (...)
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  49.  81
    Descriptions: Points of Reference.Kent Bach - 2004 - In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Clarendon Press. pp. 189-229.
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  50.  34
    On a Unitary Semantical Analysis for Definite and Indefinite Descriptions.Peter Ludlow & Gabriel Segal - 2004 - In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Oxford University Press. pp. 420-437.
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