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5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 2. Descriptions / b. Definite descriptions

[descriptions which seem to pick out a unique item]

21 ideas
 13733 Frege considered definite descriptions to be genuine singular terms [Frege, by Fitting/Mendelsohn]
 6411 Critics say definite descriptions can refer, and may not embody both uniqueness and existence claims [Grayling on Russell]
 10433 Definite descriptions fail to refer in three situations, so they aren't essentially referring [Russell, by Sainsbury]
 5385 The phrase 'a so-and-so' is an 'ambiguous' description'; 'the so-and-so' (singular) is a 'definite' description [Russell]
 18779 'The' is a quantifier, like 'every' and 'a', and does not result in denotation [Montague]
 5811 A definite description can have a non-referential use [Donnellan]
 5812 Definite descriptions are 'attributive' if they say something about x, and 'referential' if they pick x out [Donnellan]
 5814 'The x is F' only presumes that x exists; it does not actually entail the existence [Donnellan]
 13814 Definite desciptions resemble names, but can't actually be names, if they don't always refer [Bostock]
 13816 Because of scope problems, definite descriptions are best treated as quantifiers [Bostock]
 13817 Definite descriptions are usually treated like names, and are just like them if they uniquely refer [Bostock]
 13813 Definite descriptions don't always pick out one thing, as in denials of existence, or errors [Bostock]
 13848 We are only obliged to treat definite descriptions as non-names if only the former have scope [Bostock]
 10444 Definite descriptions can be used to refer, but are not semantically referential [Bach]
 10425 Definite descriptions may not be referring expressions, since they can fail to refer [Sainsbury]
 10438 Definite descriptions are usually rigid in subject, but not in predicate, position [Sainsbury]
 13398 We could make a contingent description into a rigid and necessary one by adding 'actual' to it [Jubien]
 15414 The denotation of a definite description is flexible, rather than rigid [Burgess]
 18774 Definite descriptions, unlike proper names, have a logical structure [Linsky,B]
 9454 The four leading theories of definite descriptions are Frege's, Russell's, Evans's, and Prior's [Bealer]
 10671 Plural definite descriptions pick out the largest class of things that fit the description [Hossack]