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Descriptions and Beyond 9780199270521

Descriptions and Beyond

ISBN-10: 019927052X
ISBN-13: 9780199270521
AUTHOR:
PUBLISHER: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
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Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: In 1905, Bertrand Russell published 'On Denoting' in which he proposed and defended a quantificational account of definite descriptions. Forty-five years later, in 'On Referring', Peter Strawson claimed that Russell was mistaken: definite descriptions do not function as quantifiers but(paradigmatically) as referring expressions. Ever since, scores of theorists have attempted to adjudicate this debate. Others have gone beyond the question of the proper analysis of definite descriptions, focusing instead on the complex relations between definites, indefinites, and pronouns. Theserelations are often examined with attention to the phenomena of scope and anaphora. This collection assembles nineteen new papers on definite descriptions and related topics. The contributors include both philosophers and linguists, many of whom have been active participants in the various debates concerning descriptions. The volume contains a brief general introduction and isdivided into six sections, each of which is accompanied by a detailed introduction of its own. Several of the sections concern issues associated with the Russell/Strawson debate. These include the sections on incomplete descriptions, the referential/attributive distinction, and presupposition andtruth value gaps. There is also a section on the representation of definites and indefinites in semantic theory, containing papers that reject certain core assumptions of the Russellian paradigm. Linguists interested in definites have traditionally been concerned with how such expressions interactwith other expressions, including pronouns and indefinites. They have explored, and continue to explore, these interactions through the complex phenomena of scope and anaphora. In the section dealing with anaphoric pronouns and descriptions, indefinites and dynamic syntax/semantics, five linguistspropose and defend their views on these and related issues. Finally, there is a section that concerns the relation between proper names and descriptions and, more particularly, the idea that some names, those introduced into the language by description, are semantically equivalent to definitedescriptions.

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CATEGORY: Language Arts & Disciplines
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