Incomplete descriptions

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Abstract

Standard attempts to defend Russell's Theory of Descriptions against the problem posed by "incomplete" descriptions, are discussed and dismissed as inadequate. It is then suggested that one such attempt, one which exploits the notion of a contextually delimited domain of quantification, may be applicable to "incomplete" quantifier expressions which are typically treated as quantificational: expressions of the form "All F's," "No F's," "Some F's," "Exactly eight F's," etc. In this way, one is able to retain the plausible claim that such expressions ought to receive their usual quantificational analyses. The conclusion tentatively drawn is that perhaps definite descriptions are not amenable to a (Russellian) quantificational analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-363
Number of pages17
JournalErkenntnis
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 1992

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Logic

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