The above example is fallacious, because, contrary to Navarro and Rodriguez's claim, systems [NS.sub.1] and [NS.sub.2] are not extensionally equivalent, since the definite description
"the capital of the Republic" is used in two different ways in [NS.sub.1] and [NS.sub.2].
It is in fact an abbreviation for a definite description
, such as 'The small village on the Aegean coast where Aristotle lived for a short period of time'.
Consider any interpreted language which contains at least two individual constants, at least two unary predicate letters, at least two binary predicate letters, a truth-functionally complete set of sentential connectives (for the purposes of this exposition, let these be "[conjunction]" and "??", interpreted in the usual way), the apparatus of quantification including a stock of variables, the identity sign (interpreted in the usual way), and a definite description
in this essay is called a "denuded definite description
," a definite description
with an unpronounced definite article.
It may be that we can give a unitary semantic analysis at some rather abstract level for all definite descriptions
and yet that a sentence containing a definite description
can express either an object-dependent or a general proposition, depending on facts about the context of utterance.(1) Thus the distinction between referential and attributive uses is accounted for in pragmatic terms, but the account differs from the Gricean one.
I shall suppose that the expression "the fact that ()" is a definite description
, which can be analyzed with the help of canonical names for facts.
A Donnellan-inspired view of definite descriptions
one might have is that they are ambiguous in the sense that, when used attributively, Russell was right about the nature of the proposition expressed, whereas, when used referentially, a definite description
functions as a directly-referential singular term in the sense that the proposition expressed is an object-dependent proposition that would not exist if the definite description
's referent did not exist.
For a proper name N and definite description
F, the proposition expressed by, "If N exists, then N is F," is not normally known a priori.
A denoting, referentially untainted definite description
|[iota][chi]H[chi]' is a strict anchor for r if:
McGinn tackles a diverse host of issues: sense, reference, identity, the relationship between sentences and propositions, proper names, modes of presentation, indefinite and definite descriptions
, referential and attributive modes of description, the problem of negative existentials, rigid and nonrigid designators, demonstratives, indexicals, satisfaction, semantic internalism and externalism, the redundancy theory of truth, object and metalanguage, and speaker meaning, among many others.
Among their topics are historical linguistics and conceptual clarification, priority of thought or priority of language, the ambiguity in definite descriptions
, procedurism and ontologico-historical understanding in the philosophy of language, logic and the pursuit of meaning, the legacy of Frege and the linguistic theory of predication, and categorical grammar and the foundations of the philosophy of language.
Topics include the psychological underpinnings of the debate, shifts in definitions, Meinong's work in imaginary (non-existent) objects, and Russell's definite descriptions
. These papers were originally presented at an international conference held in May 2008 at McMaster U.