By Stephen Neale
In 1905, Bertrand Russell argued that definite logical puzzles are solved if yes descriptions are handled as quantified expressions instead of referential expression, as Frege had inspiration. because then, philosophers and, extra lately, linguists have debated the relevance of this paradigm to the research of the semantics of ordinary language. In Descriptions, Stephen Neale offers the 1st sustained safety and extension of Russell's thought, putting it within the middle of a thought of singular and nonsingular descriptive words and anaphoric pronouns.Stephen Neale is Assistant Professor of Philosophy on the collage of California, Berkeley.
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Extra info for Descriptions
While the semantical project is undoubtedly an important and interesting one, it should be emphasized that Russell's primary concerns lay elsewhere. The Theory of Descriptions was originally conceived as a contribution to metaphysical and psychological projects, and to that extent it was a tool with which to dissolve certain philosophical puzzles. For instance, the theory is supposed to give us a way of characterizing the thoughts expressed by sentences like (11)-(17). It is plain that perfectly determinate thoughts may be expressed by utterances of these sentences despite the fact that they contain nondenoting descriptions.
Page 9 In our daily talk we very often convey things indirectly, relying on what we take to be our interlocutors' abilities (innate or learned) to grasp (see, deduce) what we mean by our utterances. But this does not force the semanticist to build the range of messages it is possible to convey by using a given sentence into the semantics of the sentence itself. This point of view has been most clearly articulated by people like Grice and Searle. "9 Grice's idea is to appeal to an antecedently motivated distinction between what a speaker says (the proposition expressed) and what the speaker means (what the speaker seeks to communicate to the hearer).
4). 6). 7). 2 Philosophical Foundations Let us take as a point of departure the idea that a particular dated utterance u of a sentence fby a speaker S expresses a proposition. ) The propositions we express using sentences of natural language are determined, at least in part, by the words these sentences contain and their syntactical organization. Russell was concerned with both of these aspects of meaning. In the period with which I am concerned, he held what might be called a "realist" theory of meaning: every meaningful item of language stands for something real.