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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For example, Abbott argues that the pragmatic story in which the uniqueness of some descriptions is conversationally implicated fails because it predicts that the uniqueness implication should be cancellable, but according to Abbott, it is not.

A3 This function variable is existentially closed, together with the restriction that it is a choice function: An Essay in the Philosophy of LanguageCambridge: Reference and Generality, Ithaca: Philosophical EssaysNew York: Search my Subject Specializations: He talks of the thing that is “meant”; of something that the speaker has “in mind”.

It is something of a basic working hypothesis of acquisition theory that semantical components of language are acquired very early and that pragmatic components are acquired much later see Chien and WexlerThornton and Wexler For example, species names are routinely given in the genitive case in Latin, and indeed it is a prescriptive rule about the coining of a new species name that it be placed in genitive case. Context Dependence and Procedural Meaning: Since indefinites with the relevant scopal properties would violate standard syntactic constraints, indefinites must in some cases be semantically referential.

He could have forsaken philosophy for other pursuits. In this case the teacher has singular grounds, and wishes to communicate that fact to the audience, but does not wish to communicate the identity of the cheater to the class. Are there really that many referrnce names, each corresponding to an different description? Hopefully, there was only one student involved. Another idea, considered in HeimLudlowand Elbourne is to see how descriptive theories of pronouns fare when embedded within an event-based or dinnellan based theories of conditionals like those articulated by BermanReffrenceand Lycan Academic Tools How to cite this entry.

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Searle; ff.

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But one wonders how legitimate a domain-shift analysis is here. There are circumstances in which the Russellian gloss in 57 is true, but 56 is not true.

But an alternative explanation is that uniqueness is a pragmatic phenomenon, thus saving the working hypothesis. A man fell in front of the train. In the case of 60we intuitively are not saying that there is a lawyer such that John is identical to that lawyer.

So, for example, take a simple sentence like A number of other puzzles remain, including the problem of pronominal descriptipns, which has been discussed by StrawsonDaviesLudlow and Nealeand van Dfscriptions among many others.

These are the cases where we judge the sentence false. The problem is that the Russellian analysis seems to turn a contingent proposition into a necessary proposition.

Strawson to some extent tries to open up some space between these, for example, in the case of incomplete descriptions, such as “The table is covered with books”. As we will see, all of these claims can be put under pressure, and all three arguably collapse under that pressure. University of Minnesota Press, — Edit criterion description Delete criterion row. 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 analysis.

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What is also intriguing about this line of inquiry is that it suggests a new strategy for accounting for definiteness. This seems to be a contingent claim—one that is true but matters could have gone otherwise.

Perhaps, but there is no shortage of difficulties. There are obviously two responses to Strawson here.

Descriptions (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

We want to know precisely why a pronoun looks like a definite description here, but an indefinite description there. The underlying deep motivation is presumably that species are part of a genus, so that when one expresses a species name it is shorthand for a more complete description.

Print Save Cite Email Share. Thus, Donnellan suggests that someone who uttered “Smith’s murderer is insane” could be using the description either way, depending upon what sort of thing they were trying to say.

Here Schoubye suggests that our truth value judgments firm up and flip from being indeterminate to being clear judgments of falsity. Of course, none of this is to say that solving this problem will close the book on the analysis of descriptive pronouns.

I went home in a taxi. Philosophers have also been attracted to this view. Now what I have literally said is that Jones is working up a sweat, but what I have communicated what I meant is something about Johnson.

The Case against Two-DimensionalismPrinceton: