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THE : Context Sensitivity

Thomas J. McKay

in Plural Predication

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
January 2007
ISBN:
9780199278145
eISBN:
9780191707971
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278145.003.0009
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Language

This chapter considers the significance of the context sensitivity of definite descriptions (singular and plural) and suggests some ways of understanding it. It argues that many uses of definite ... More


THE : The Basic Logic

Thomas J. McKay

in Plural Predication

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
January 2007
ISBN:
9780199278145
eISBN:
9780191707971
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278145.003.0008
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Language

This chapter develops a formal treatment of definite descriptions indicating how the singular and plural descriptions are related and exactly how they differ from (and are analogous to) mass ... More


On Referring and Not Referring

Kent Bach

in Reference: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Published in print:
2008
Published Online:
May 2008
ISBN:
9780195331639
eISBN:
9780199867981
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331639.003.0002
Subject:
Linguistics, Semantics and Pragmatics

The notions of linguistic reference and speaker reference are commonly used very loosely. In many cases what passes for reference falls short of it, and in many other cases a speaker uses an ... More


Issues in the Semantics and Pragmatics of Definite Descriptions in English

Barbara Abbott

in Reference: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Published in print:
2008
Published Online:
May 2008
ISBN:
9780195331639
eISBN:
9780199867981
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331639.003.0003
Subject:
Linguistics, Semantics and Pragmatics

This chapter defends an analysis of definite descriptions according to which they express a presupposition of existence and a conventional implicature of uniqueness. It replies to analyses offered by ... More


The Theory of Descriptions

Peter Hylton

in Propositions, Functions, and Analysis: Selected Essays on Russell's Philosophy

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199286355
eISBN:
9780191713309
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199286355.003.0011
Subject:
Philosophy, History of Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics

This chapter deals with one of the most frequently discussed topics in Russell's philosophy, namely his theory of definite descriptions, first set forth in one of the most celebrated essays of ... More


The Ground Zero of Semantics

Antonio Capuano

in Having in Mind: The Philosophy of Keith Donnellan

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780199844845
eISBN:
9780199933501
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199844845.003.0002
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Language

This chapter compares two different conceptions of and foundations for semantics. Ultimately the two conceptions and foundations go back to ideas of Frege and Russell. To put it in a nutshell: for ... More


What ‘the’?

John Hawthorne and David Manley

in The Reference Book

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780199693672
eISBN:
9780191739002
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693672.003.0005
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind

Chapter 5 is about definite descriptions. It begins with the observation that definites require specific restriction as a matter of convention, and explores the consequences of this fact for some ... More


Having in Mind

Howard Wettstein

in Having in Mind: The Philosophy of Keith Donnellan

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780199844845
eISBN:
9780199933501
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199844845.003.0006
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Language

In “Reference and Definite Descriptions,” Donnellan deepened Strawson’s classic critique of Russell’s theory of descriptions. For Russell, definite descriptions involve generality and quantification; ... More


Complex referring expressions

R. M. Sainsbury

in Reference without Referents

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
July 2005
ISBN:
9780199241804
eISBN:
9780191602696
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199241805.003.0005
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Language

Starts by showing that semantic complexity is not as such a barrier to being a referring expression, using the example of compound names. Goes on to consider whether definite descriptions, at least ... More


The Proper Name and the Definite Description Theories

Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore

in Language Turned on Itself: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Metalinguistic Discourse

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
January 2008
ISBN:
9780199231195
eISBN:
9780191710810
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231195.003.0009
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Language

This chapter examines the Proper Name and Definite Description Theories. According to Quine and Tarski, quotations lack semantic structure (their position is often misleadingly called the “Proper ... More


Unifying Noun Phrases

Stephen J Barker

in Renewing Meaning: A Speech-Act Theoretic Approach

Published in print:
2004
Published Online:
August 2004
ISBN:
9780199263660
eISBN:
9780191601354
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199263663.003.0006
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Language

I outline a unified treatment of descriptive noun phrases: definite, indefinite, universal noun phrases, quantitative phrases like most Fs, phrases featuring any, and noun phrases in the scope of ... More


Reference: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Jeanette Gundel and Nancy Hedberg

Published in print:
2008
Published Online:
May 2008
ISBN:
9780195331639
eISBN:
9780199867981
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331639.001.0001
Subject:
Linguistics, Semantics and Pragmatics

The ability to produce and understand referring expressions is basic to human language use and human cognition. Reference comprises the ability to think of and represent objects (both real and ... More


Default Semantics: Foundations of a Compositional Theory of Acts of Communication

K. M. Jaszczolt

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
September 2007
ISBN:
9780199261987
eISBN:
9780191718656
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199261987.001.0001
Subject:
Linguistics, Semantics and Pragmatics

The book offers an original theory of meaning in discourse that combines a dynamic representation of discourse with an intentional explanation of processing. It contains an exposition of a theory of ... More


Definite Descriptions I: Vindicating Russell

Kent Bach

in Thought and Reference

Published in print:
1994
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780198240778
eISBN:
9780191680267
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240778.003.0006
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind

Russell's theory of descriptions has remained influential even though it has long been out of favour. It's influence may be due to the absence of a generally accepted alternative, or perhaps to the ... More


On Denoting

David Bostock

in Russell's Logical Atomism

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
September 2012
ISBN:
9780199651443
eISBN:
9780191741197
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199651443.003.0003
Subject:
Philosophy, History of Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology

The chapter outlines Russell’s early theory of denoting in 1903, and the reasons why it should be abandoned. The new theory of 1905 contains objections to the rival views of definite descriptions due ... More


Speaker’s Reference and Semantic Reference *

Saul A. Kripke

in Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
January 2012
ISBN:
9780199730155
eISBN:
9780199918430
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730155.003.0005
Subject:
Philosophy, General

This chapter discusses some issues inspired by a well-known paper of Keith Donnellan, “Reference and Definite Descriptions,”. Donnellan's paper claims to give decisive objections both to Russell's ... More


Reference without Referents

R. M. Sainsbury

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
July 2005
ISBN:
9780199241804
eISBN:
9780191602696
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199241805.001.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Language

This book concerns the nature of reference, and the theory it develops is intermediate between direct reference theories and descriptivist theories. A guiding thought is that just as truth conditions ... More


Fregean Theories

Wayne A. Davis

in Nondescriptive Meaning and Reference: An Ideational Semantics

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
February 2006
ISBN:
9780199261659
eISBN:
9780191603099
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199261652.003.0012
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Language

This chapter examines ‘Fregean theories’, which hold that the meaning of a proper name can, in principle, be defined using general terms or descriptions. The classical description theory holds that ... More


Meaning, Rigidity, and Modality

Sanford Shieh

in Future Pasts: The Analytic Tradition in Twentieth Century Philosophy

Published in print:
2001
Published Online:
November 2003
ISBN:
9780195139167
eISBN:
9780199833214
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/019513916X.003.0019
Subject:
Philosophy, History of Philosophy

Saul Kripke’s “modal argument” against the description theory of proper names turns on a distinction between reference-fixing and meaning-giving. In this essay Shieh argues first that without further ... More


Reference through Mental Files: Indexicals and Definite Descriptions

François Recanati

in Mental Files

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780199659982
eISBN:
9780191745409
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659982.003.0017
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Language

The communication of singular thoughts is said to proceed through a general mechanism: the linguistic evocation of mental files via elements of their content. The issue arises whether that mechanism ... More


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