more from François Recanati

Single Idea 16384

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

Full Idea

A definite description may contribute either the singular predicate it encodes (attributive use) or the mental file to what that predicate belongs (referential use).

Gist of Idea

Definite descriptions reveal either a predicate (attributive use) or the file it belongs in (referential)


François Recanati (Mental Files [2012], 17.1)

Book Reference

Recanati,François: 'Mental Files' [OUP 2012], p.224

A Reaction

This nicely explains Donnellan's distinction in terms of mental files. 'Green' may refer in a shop, but isn't much use in a wood. What to make of 'He's a bit of a Bismark'?