And this definite description
does not stand for an atomic particular either.
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.
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.
Consider a definite description
of the form "the H" (|[iota][chi]H[chi]').
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.
This edition contains three new appendices, special historical discussions, additions and deletions of material concerning definite descriptions
and properties of relations, a revised approach to the semantics of instantiation, an in-depth discussion of assumptions using apparently free variables, and a new discussion of demonstrating consistency of predicate logic statements.
Topics include the psychological underpinnings of the debate, shifts in definitions, Meinong's work in imaginary (non-existent) objects, and Russell's definite descriptions
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.