more from David E. Cooper

Single Idea 4568

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

Full Idea

If 'the Queen of England' is not a referring expression when there is no queen, nor can it be one when there is a queen - since the meaning of the expression is the same in either case.

Gist of Idea

If 'Queen of England' does not refer if there is no queen, its meaning can't refer if there is one


David E. Cooper (Philosophy and the Nature of Language [1973], 4.1)

Book Reference

Cooper,David E.: 'Philosophy and the Nature of Language' [Longman 1979], p.73

A Reaction

I'm not convinced. Does this mean that since I can point with my finger at nothing, I therefore do not indicate anything when there is an object at which I am pointing. Sounds silly to me.