Single Idea 6413

[catalogued under 5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 2. Descriptions / c. Theory of definite descriptions]

Full Idea

Strawson argues that in saying 'the present King of France is bald' one is not stating that a present King of France exists, but presupposing or assuming that it does.

Gist of Idea

'The present King of France is bald' presupposes existence, rather than stating it


report of Peter F. Strawson (On Referring [1950]) by A.C. Grayling - Russell Ch.2

Book Reference

Grayling,A.C.: 'Russell' [OUP 1996], p.37

A Reaction

We have the notion of a leading question, such as 'when did you stop beating your wife?' But is a presupposition not simply an implied claim, as Russell said it was?