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 is not surprising, given that pragmatics can involve sophisticated real world reasoning.

Introduction to Logical TheoryLondon: Indeed, many synonyms customarily are put to different uses. Lasersohndeffinite FintelYabloand Schoubyehave collected a number of examples where subtle changes to the example give rise to different judgments of truth value.

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Here is the idea: Unfortunately, there are more sophisticated versions of these cases where simple relativization to events will not do. Utterances of meaningful sentences may be true or false or, if here is a presupposition failure, they may be neither. What is the DRT theorist to do?

What is also intriguing about this line of inquiry is that it suggests a new strategy for accounting for definiteness. Classical, Early, and Medieval Poetry and Poets: Another idea, considered in HeimLudlowand Elbourne is descriptiona see how descriptive theories of pronouns fare when embedded within an event-based or situation based theories of conditionals like those articulated by BermanKratzerand Lycan To the contrary, he literally expresses the proposition that there is at least one murderer of Smith who is insane.

The attributive use most nearly reflects Russell’s understanding of descriptions.

A2 An indefinite NP in an argument position, however, ends up denoting an individual, because the semantics involves a free function variable that assigns an individual to the restriction predicate. Other Internet Resources Parsons, T. He could have forsaken philosophy for other pursuits.


Keith Donnellan

Here the problem is that the minimal event appears to contain ten sage plants, so we are left to ask how the pronoun, rendered as a definite description complete with a uniqueness claim, is supposed to work. Suppose, moreover, that in characterizing what the speaker said, we ourselves can refer to the object to which the speaker was referring using any tool at our disposal: Causal-historical theory of reference [1] The “referential” and “attributive use” distinction.

University of Minnesota Press, 6— In the referential case, by contrast, one is implying or presupposing that some particular thing —namely, the thing about which one wishes to speak—fits the description uniquely. In descriprions words, a basic working hypothesis of acquisition theory is preserved if we reject the Russellian story about the distinction between definite and indefinite determiners.

Devittand Reimer have argued that these cases are genuinely different in kind. Even stronger, it appears that there are numerous examples involving quantified expressions that suffer the same fate as incomplete descriptions. Boiled down to its simplest non-technical form, the idea is that an expression of the form in 3 is shorthand for the conjunction of three claims:.

See Everett and Hofweber and Refsrence and Wettstein for papers on these general issues, and see Zaltafor a robust defense of the nonexistent object strategy. Mirror Sites View this site from another server: For example, begining with Strawson and the work cited above, we have numerous writers arguing that the existence claim is presupposed. One response to this line of argument is that it frontloads our assumptions about written works having single authors. As noted in the beginning of this article, the Russellian cescriptions of descriptions not only offers a quantificational as opposed to a referential account of descriptions, but it packs three different claims into the descriptionz of descriptions: Moreover, a definite description occurring in one and the same sentence may, on different occasions of its use, function in either way.


Keith Donnellan, “Reference and Definite Descriptions”

IndefinitesCambridge, MA: A man fell in front of the train. Similarly, as Kripke observed, intermediate scope is possible in 24 as when the Berrigans have someone in mind, but Hoover does not know who. The Fodor and Sag argumentation was taken up in the philosophical literature by King and Ludlow referene Nealewho argued that there is a confusion in the Fodor and Sag discussion. The first function is the referential use of definite description, in which the speaker uses it to refer to something.

Which of the descriptionx theories would you suppose would have a harder time accomodating the referential—attributive distinction?

Keith Donnellan – Wikipedia

Oxford University Press, 13— Publications Pages Publications Pages. From the Publisher via CrossRef no proxy jstor. Philosophy of LanguageCambridge, MA: Extending the Sharvy analysis of plural descriptions, we get the following, where F descriptioons 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: How does a wide scope story help us descriptuons this case?

Essays in Honor of Michael DummettOxford: Unfortunately, that seems to be precisely what the Russellian theory of descriptions is committed to. The Burge story had the determiner as something like a bare demonstrative.