Descriptions and Beyond by Marga ReimerDescriptions and Beyond by Marga Reimer

Descriptions and Beyond

EditorMarga Reimer, Anne Bezuidenhout

Paperback | August 4, 2004

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In 1905, Bertrand Russell published 'On Denoting' in which he proposed and defended a quantificational account of definite descriptions. Forty-five years later, in 'On Referring', Peter Strawson claimed that Russell was mistaken: definite descriptions do not function as quantifiers but(paradigmatically) as referring expressions. Ever since, scores of theorists have attempted to adjudicate this debate. Others have gone beyond the question of the proper analysis of definite descriptions, focusing instead on the complex relations between definites, indefinites, and pronouns. Theserelations are often examined with attention to the phenomena of scope and anaphora. This collection assembles nineteen new papers on definite descriptions and related topics. The contributors include both philosophers and linguists, many of whom have been active participants in the various debates concerning descriptions. The volume contains a brief general introduction and isdivided into six sections, each of which is accompanied by a detailed introduction of its own. Several of the sections concern issues associated with the Russell/Strawson debate. These include the sections on incomplete descriptions, the referential/attributive distinction, and presupposition andtruth value gaps. There is also a section on the representation of definites and indefinites in semantic theory, containing papers that reject certain core assumptions of the Russellian paradigm. Linguists interested in definites have traditionally been concerned with how such expressions interactwith other expressions, including pronouns and indefinites. They have explored, and continue to explore, these interactions through the complex phenomena of scope and anaphora. In the section dealing with anaphoric pronouns and descriptions, indefinites and dynamic syntax/semantics, five linguistspropose and defend their views on these and related issues. Finally, there is a section that concerns the relation between proper names and descriptions and, more particularly, the idea that some names, those introduced into the language by description, are semantically equivalent to definitedescriptions.

About The Author

Marga Reimer is in the Department of Philosophy, University of Arizona. Anne Bezuidenhout is in the Department of Philosophy, University of South Carolina.

Details & Specs

Title:Descriptions and BeyondFormat:PaperbackDimensions:672 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.48 inPublished:August 4, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019927052X

ISBN - 13:9780199270521

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Table of Contents

Part I: Incomplete Descriptions1. Francois Recanati: Descriptions and Situations2. Ernie Lepore: An Abuse of Context in Semantics: The Case of Incomplete Definite Descriptions3. Stephen Neale: This, That, and the OtherPart II: The Referential/Attributive Distinction4. Kent Bach: Descriptions: Points of Reference5. Nathan Salmon: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly6. Geoffrey Nunberg: Descriptive Indexicals and Indexical Descriptions7. Michael Devitt: The Case for Referential DescriptionsPart III: Presupposition and Truth-Value Gaps8. Kai von Fintel: Would you Believe It? The King of France is Back! (Presuppositions and Truth-Value Intuitions)9. Jay Atlas: Descriptions, Linguistic Topic/Comment and Negative ExistentialsPart IV: Representation of Definites and Indefinites in Semantic Theory10. Mark Sainsbury: Referring Descriptions11. Joseph Almog: The Vernacular and the Omniscient Observer of History12. Peter Ludlow and Gabriel Segal: On a Unitary Analysis for Definite and Indefinite DescriptionsPart V: Anaphoric Pronouns and Descriptions, Indefinites and Dynamic Semantics/Syntax13. Richard Breheny: Indefinites and Anaphoric Independence: A Case for Dynamic Semantics and Pragmatics?14. Paul Dekker: Grounding Dynamic Semantics15. Craige Roberts: Pronouns as Definites16. Alice ter Meulen: Anaphoric Definite Descriptions17. Ruth Kempson and Wilfried Meyer-Viol: Indefinites and Scope ChoicePart VI: Names and Descriptions18. Robin Jeshion: Descriptive Descriptive Names19. Marga Reimer: Descriptively Introduced NamesReferencesIndex