more from François Recanati

Single Idea 16352

[catalogued under 19. Language / B. Reference / 4. Descriptive Reference / b. Reference by description]

Full Idea

A rigid use of a definite description need not be referential: it may be attributive. Thus I may say: 'The actual F, whoever he is, is G'.

Gist of Idea

A rigid definite description can be attributive, not referential: 'the actual F, whoever he is….'


François Recanati (Mental Files [2012], 2.2)

Book Reference

Recanati,François: 'Mental Files' [OUP 2012], p.18

A Reaction

Recanati offers this as a criticism of the attempted 2-D solution to descriptivist accounts of singularity. The singularity is not strong enough, he says.

Related Ideas

Idea 16350 Two-D semantics is said to help descriptivism of reference deal with singular objects [Recanati]

Idea 16351 In 2-D semantics, reference is determined, then singularity by the truth of a predication [Recanati]