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Donnellan: “Reference and Definite Descriptions”. TWO USES OF . sentence “ Keith asserted that Smith’s murderer is insane.” To capture the. Keith Donnellan, “Reference and Definite Descriptions”. Due Feb 13, by 10am; Points 5; Submitting a discussion post; Available after Feb 2, at 12am. Keith Donnellan, Joseph Almog, and Paolo Leonardi function is the referential use of definite description, in which the speaker uses it to refer to something.

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Views Read Edit View history. This describes the DRT strategy only in the most keifh of terms, but we can already see that the questions that plague the Russellian story have their reflex here as well. Sign in to use this feature. As Winter informally characterizes the doctrine, the idea is as follows.

Reference and Definite Descriptions – Oxford Scholarship

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 First, he argues that the question whether a description is used referentially or attributively cannot be reduced to the question whether the speaker knows of some particular thing that it fits the description uniquely p.

A man fell in front of the train. Indeed, many synonyms customarily are put to different uses. There are obviously two responses to Strawson here. Descriptuons criterion description Delete criterion row.


Cambridge University Press, 62— See, for example, Geach ; section 39Wiggins42 ff. In this instance not only does the teacher fail to know the identity of the cheater, but also fails to know whether or not there was a unique cheater perhaps there were several. Clearly an these pronouns are referring expressions then any victories won through the theory of descriptions are going to be fleeting. But see Nelson for a response to this argument.

Keith S. Donnellan – Reference and Definite Descriptions ()

Essays on Reference, Language, and Mind Author s: Both refer to or at least denote the planet Venus, but there are contexts in which it seems incorrect to say that they have the same meaning. As observed earlier, 46 can be asserted even if there is more than one German airline. These are the cases where we judge the sentence false.

Fortunately there only appears to be one cheater. Abbott and Horn have suggested that the use of stress in descriptions highlights the uniqueness implications of the utterance.

The material in the square brackets gives the restriction on definte quantifier, and the formula in parentheses after the bracket constitutes the scope of the restricted quantifier. Edit rating Delete rating.

Reference and Definite Descriptions

Naming and NecessityCambridge, MA: This in turn led Russell to extend the theory of descriptions to almost all uses of names—treating them as definite descriptions in disguise. Kripke responded to Donnellan by arguing that the Russellian account of definite descriptions could, by itself, edscriptions for both referential and attributive uses; the difference between the two cases could be entirely a matter of pragmatics.


Philosophy of LanguageCambridge, MA: Sign in Create an account. 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”.

The Reference BookOxford: One response to this line of argument is that it frontloads our assumptions about written works having single authors. 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. University of Minnesota Press, 6— See Groendijk and StokhofChierchiavan der Doesand also see van Rooy for criticism. Their idea is that since definite descriptions are regularly used to express singular thoughts, it stands to reason that the standard meaning of the definite description must be referential.

Not everyone has seen DRT theory and choice functions in this light. The basic structure of their argument was the following. Additional criticism of 2-dimensionalism criticism can be found in Block and Dpnnellan and Byrne and Pryor

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