more from Kent Bach

Single Idea 10444

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

Full Idea

If Russell is, as I believe, basically right, then definite descriptions are the paradigm of singular terms that can be used to refer but are not linguistically (semantically) referential.

Gist of Idea

Definite descriptions can be used to refer, but are not semantically referential


Kent Bach (What Does It Take to Refer? [2006], 22.1 s5)

Book Reference

'The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language', ed/tr. Lepore,E/Smith,B [OUP 2008], p.526

A Reaction

I'm not sure that we can decide what is 'semantically referential'. Most of the things we refer to don't have names. We don't then 'use' definite descriptions (I'm thinking) - they actually DO the job. If we use them, we can 'use' names too?