Single Idea 7697

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

Full Idea

It is infamous that on Russell's analysis the sentences "The winged horse has wings" and "The winged horse is a horse" are false, because in the extant domain of actual existent entities there contingently exist no winged horses

Gist of Idea

On Russell's analysis, the sentence "The winged horse has wings" comes out as false


Dale Jacquette (Ontology [2002], Ch. 6)

Book Reference

Jacquette,Dale: 'Ontology' [Acumen 2002], p.163

A Reaction

This is the best objection I have heard to Russell's account of definite descriptions. The connected question is whether 'quantifies over' is really a commitment to existence. See Idea 6067.

Related Idea

Idea 6067 Existential quantifiers just express the quantity of things, leaving existence to the predicate 'exists' [McGinn]