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. Keith Donnellan, “Reference and Definite Descriptions”. Due Feb 13, by 10am; Points 5; Submitting a discussion post; Available after Feb 2, at 12am. Keith Sedgwick Donnellan was an American philosopher and Professor ” Reference and Definite Descriptions” has been one of.

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This also raises the question of how far one can press the case based on examples like Soames has responded that this particular 2-dimensionalist approach is tantamount to the claim that descriptive theories of reference determination are priori irrefutable, since any evidence that a term refers to an object is automatically taken to demonstrate the existence of an implicit description in our minds that successfully determines reference, whether or not we can successfully state it.

Philosophers have also been attracted to this view. For instance, Donnellan criticized Bertrand Russell ‘s theory of definite descriptions for overlooking the distinction between referential and attributive use of definite descriptions.

Keith S. Donnellan, Reference and definite descriptions – PhilPapers

Meaning, Quantification, NecessityLondon: Thus, even if Jones did not murder Smith, we might say, in the original example, that we referred to Jones and said of him that he was insane. The Interface between Language and RealityCambridge: He argued that rfeerence descriptions can be used in at least two different ways.

Again we are ambivalent about the truth of what I say, and as Neale ; 91—93 observed, the distinction between the proposition literally expressed and the proposition meant allows us to understand why. I think an avowed atheist who took advantage descriptios Mr. The present king of France is sitting in a chair. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Quantified expressions are ordinarily considered to be clause bound. From this bit of information, the pragmatics might allow us infer that there is a unique dog. Extending the Sharvy analysis of plural descriptions, we get the following, where F is the set of all F s, or the mass of all substance that is F the vertical strokes before ad after and after the expression indicate that we are talking about the semantic value, or meaning, of the bordered expression:. We want to know precisely why a pronoun looks descdiptions a definite description here, but an indefinite description there.


Conversational Implicatures and How to Spot Them. In other worlds we will draw on other descriptive contents. Mirror Sites View this site from another server: Of interest to us at the moment is the fact that this analysis encodes the maximality claim—it says that all the F s are G s. Descriptivism holds that ordinary proper names e.

Keith Donnellan

We sometimes drop the outer parentheses when it is clear what the descrriptions of the restricted quantifier is, and we sometimes add parentheses around the entire formula for rference. According to the unified analysis of descriptions, what Detective Brown literally expresses is not the idea that there was a unique murderer of Smith who is insane. In this vein, one widely held view, due to Kamp and Heimis that we could regard indefinite descriptions as expressions containing free variables which are bound by adverbs of quantification in the sense of Lewis interpreted as existentially quantified by the model theory, or perhaps bound by implicit existential closure operators Diesing Is it to be a description that the speaker has in mind?

The unwanted ambiguity objection returns as well if we allow that different people will associate different bundles of properties with a name or at least weight those properties differently. DescriptionsCambridge, MA: PragmaticsNew York: I’ll write free-form comments when assessing students.

Keith Donnellan, “Reference and Definite Descriptions”

For example, there remains a difficulty that Ludlow and Segal have called the residue of the problem of misdescription. The task for philosophers of language now is the thorny task of figuring out what information they do encode.

Is it really part of the meaning of that name that its bearer drank hemlock, taught Plato and did all of the other things that we are told that he did when we study the history of philosophy? So for example, we read: The evidence does suggest however, that definite determiners can often play the role of supplying case, and this may go a long way towards explaining some of the most recalcitrant facts involving descriptions.

As Jacksonputs the idea:. Objections to the Theory of Descriptions 5. As we saw in section 4, the distinction between the proposition literally expressed and the proposition meant was not sufficient to account for this ambivalence on our part.


So, for example, 11 could be taken to have the following logical form. And, as Donnellan is at pains to emphasize pp.

Referential uses of indefinites must be either a function of quantifier scope or a semantically referential indefinite determiner. But notice that because the bishops bless each other, it appears there is no unique individual that satisfies either description in the consequent of Written in response to the work of Bertrand Russell and P.

In the referential case, it desfriptions seem, there is only a “presumption” that the object about which one wishes to speak fits the description. According to Soames, there are contexts of utterance and worlds of evaluation where 14a is true but 14b is false.

In section 7 we will return to the question of whether the maximality claim should be part of the analysis or whether it represents a weakness in the refrence. The basic structure of their argument was the following. Can’t change a rubric once you’ve started using it. Publications Pages Publications Pages.

Susanna Schellenberg – – Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 1: There is a dilemma then: Communication and CognitionOxford: A unified Russellian treatment of the constructions seems possible. For example, according to Ludlow and Neale, there are a number of possible uses to which we can put indefinite descriptions, including referential uses, specific uses, definite uses, and purely existential uses. It would be odd for me to offer up an utterance of 52even though 53 would be fine.

The interesting conceptual issue that arises, whether we opt for standard DRT accounts or such accounts supplemented with choice functions, is whether this departs from the Russellian analysis of indefinite descriptions in important ways.

F The present king of France wrote Anna Karenina. It is not pragmatically extruded from givenness as suggested by Ludlow and Segal but rather from whatever meaning the genetive case brings with it — often some notion of possession.