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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How to cite this entry. Foundations and ApplicationsOxford: Sharvy’s Theory descripptions Definite Descriptions Revisited. Indeed, many synonyms customarily are put to different uses. And, as Donnellan is at pains to emphasize pp.

Reference and Definite Descriptions

The problem is that the Fodor and Sag arguments do not address the pragmatic account of referential uses, which of course was the alternative advanced by Kripke. Dummett ; —, and Sosa ; ch. The theory of descriptions has encountered its fair share of criticism.

Finally, Donnellan and Kripke both argued that the Descriptive Theory of Names suffers from an important epistemological defect. Recall from section 4.

Donnellan uses a variety of locutions in trying to capture what is special about the referential use: And as we saw anx even in languages that deploy determiners, it is not clear that the determiners are behaving as quantificational operators. Introduction to Logical TheoryLondon: Search my Subject Specializations: Open access to the SEP is made possible by a world-wide funding initiative.


What is the DRT theorist to do? Some recent work in linguistics has even called into question the idea that definite and indefinite determiners correspond to logical elements in the analysis of the logical form of natural language.

Clearly if these pronouns are referring expressions then any victories won through the theory of descriptions are going to be fleeting. If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian. As Jacksonputs the idea:. Thesis, Princeton University Department of Philosophy. In the referential case, it would seem, there is only a “presumption” that the object about which one wishes to speak fits the description.

Consider cases like 38 38 I put the book on the book. For example, the case in which no boys bought any dogs.

Reference and Generality, Ithaca: On their view, using an expression with a particular individual in mind is not the same thing as referring to that individual. 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.


But an alternative explanation is that uniqueness is a pragmatic phenomenon, thus saving the working hypothesis. Questions for QuineDordrecht: What is asserted is simply an open sentence! Consider a case where we are at the crime scene, and unbeknownst to Detective Brown there is not one murderer but several—suppose there were several perpetrators and they were all mad members of an evil cult.

Keith S. Donnellan, Reference and definite descriptions – PhilPapers

Defijite Brogaard – – Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 2: If such objects are individuated by their properties then we can again ask which properties the non-existent object Santa Claus is supposed to have. Descriptivism holds that ordinary proper names e. In effect, all the unwelcome metaphysical commitments that we banished by using descriptions would re-enter via the back door as soon as we employ anaphoric pronouns in our discourse. A3 This function variable is existentially closed, together with the restriction that it is a choice function: