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The Attributive Use and Russell’s Paradigm
The Attributive Use and Russell’s Paradigm

Author(s): Wojciech Rostworowski
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Uniwersytet Warszawski - Wydział Filozofii i Socjologii, Instytut Filozofii
Keywords: attributive use; definite descriptions; incomplete descriptions; Russell’s theory; Strawson; Donnellan

Summary/Abstract: According to the prevailing view, Russell’s theory of descriptions provides an adequate semantic account of sentences with definite descriptions in the attributive use. The author challenges this assumption. Firstly, he presents two general ‘Strawsonian’ objections to Russell’s theory, which, as he argues, are valid in the case of attributive assertions. Those are arguments against the so called existential reading and the uniqueness-reading of an attributively used sentence of the form “The F is G”. Finally, the author presents his own objection which appeals to the fact that the Russellian analysis does not account for an intuitive inferential property of attributive assertions.

  • Issue Year: 21/2013
  • Issue No: 2 (82)
  • Page Range: 59-68
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: English