Ideas from 'On Denoting' by Bertrand Russell [1905], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Logic and Knowledge' by Russell,Bertrand (ed/tr Marsh,Robert Charles) [Routledge 1956,0-415-09074-1]].

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1. Philosophy / C. History of Philosophy / 5. Modern Philosophy / b. Modern philosophy beginnings
Russell started a whole movement in philosophy by providing an analysis of descriptions [Read]
5. Theory of Logic / D. Assumptions for Logic / 2. Excluded Middle
Russell's theories aim to preserve excluded middle (saying all sentences are T or F) [Sawyer]
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 1. Logical Form
'Elizabeth = Queen of England' is really a predication, not an identity-statement [Lycan]
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 4. Variables in Logic
The idea of a variable is fundamental
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / b. Names as descriptive
Names don't have a sense, but are disguised definite descriptions [Sawyer]
Russell says names are not denotations, but definite descriptions in disguise [Kripke]
Russell says a name contributes a complex of properties, rather than an object [Sawyer]
Are names descriptions, if the description is unknown, false, not special, or contains names? [McCullogh]
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / c. Names as referential
The meaning of a logically proper name is its referent, but most names are not logically proper [Soames]
Logically proper names introduce objects; definite descriptions introduce quantifications [Bach]
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / d. Singular terms
Russell rewrote singular term names as predicates [Ayer]
"Nobody" is not a singular term, but a quantifier [Lycan]
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / e. Empty names
Russell implies that all sentences containing empty names are false [Sawyer]
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 2. Descriptions / b. Definite descriptions
Critics say definite descriptions can refer, and may not embody both uniqueness and existence claims [Grayling]
Definite descriptions fail to refer in three situations, so they aren't essentially referring [Sainsbury]
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 2. Descriptions / c. Theory of definite descriptions
The theory of descriptions eliminates the name of the entity whose existence was presupposed [Quine]
Russell's theory must be wrong if it says all statements about non-existents are false [Read]
Russell's theory explains non-existents, negative existentials, identity problems, and substitutivity [Lycan]
Russell showed how to define 'the', and thereby reduce the ontology of logic [Lackey]
The theory of definite descriptions reduces the definite article 'the' to the concepts of predicate logic [Horwich]
Russell implies that 'the baby is crying' is only true if the baby is unique [Grayling]
Russell explained descriptions with quantifiers, where Frege treated them as names [McCullogh]
Russell avoids non-existent objects by denying that definite descriptions are proper names [Miller,A]
Denying definite description sentences are subject-predicate in form blocks two big problems [Forbes,G]
Russell says apparent referring expressions are really assertions about properties [Cooper,DE]
The theory of descriptions lacks conventions for the scope of quantifiers [Lackey]
Non-count descriptions don't threaten Russell's theory, which is only about singulars [Laycock]
Denoting is crucial in Russell's account of mathematics, for identifying classes [Monk]
Russell's analysis means molecular sentences are ambiguous over the scope of the description [Kaplan]
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 3. Objectual Quantification
Existence is entirely expressed by the existential quantifier [McGinn]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / e. Ontological commitment problems
Russell showed that descriptions may not have ontological commitment [Linsky,B]
7. Existence / E. Categories / 3. Proposed Categories
The Theory of Description dropped classes and numbers, leaving propositions, individuals and universals [Monk]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 12. Denial of Properties
Russell can't attribute existence to properties [McGinn]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Impossible objects
If the King of France is not bald, and not not-bald, this violates excluded middle [Linsky,B]
19. Language / B. Reference / 1. Reference theories
Russell argued with great plausibility that we rarely, if ever, refer with our words [Cooper,DE]
19. Language / B. Reference / 2. Denoting
Referring is not denoting, and Russell ignores the referential use of definite descriptions [Donnellan]
Denoting phrases are meaningless, but guarantee meaning for propositions
In 'Scott is the author of Waverley', denotation is identical, but meaning is different
A definite description 'denotes' an entity if it fits the description uniquely [Recanati]
19. Language / B. Reference / 4. Descriptive Reference / a. Sense and reference
By eliminating descriptions from primitive notation, Russell seems to reject 'sense' [Kripke]
19. Language / B. Reference / 5. Speaker's Reference
Russell assumes that expressions refer, but actually speakers refer by using expressions [Cooper,DE]
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 5. Fregean Semantics
Russell rejected sense/reference, because it made direct acquaintance with things impossible [Recanati]
'Sense' is superfluous (rather than incoherent) [Miller,A]
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 6. Truth-Conditions Semantics
The theory of definite descriptions aims at finding correct truth conditions [Lycan]
19. Language / D. Propositions / 3. Concrete Propositions
In graspable propositions the constituents are real entities of acquaintance
28. God / B. Proving God / 2. Proofs of Reason / b. Ontological Proof critique
The ontological argument begins with an unproven claim that 'there exists an x..'