LINGUIST List 15.1507

Thu May 13 2004

Books: Philosophy of Language: Reimer et al (Eds)

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  1. lowri.jones, Descriptions and Beyond: Reimer, Bezuidenhout (Eds)

Message 1: Descriptions and Beyond: Reimer, Bezuidenhout (Eds)

Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 11:21:55 -0400 (EDT)
From: lowri.jones <>
Subject: Descriptions and Beyond: Reimer, Bezuidenhout (Eds)

Title: Descriptions and Beyond

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher:	Oxford University Press

Book URL: 927052-X

Editor: Marga Reimer, Department of Philosophy, Univeristy of Arizona
Editor: Anne Bezuidenhout, Department of Philosophy, University of
	South Carolina

Paperback: ISBN: 019927052X, Pages: 600, Price: U.K. � 30.00


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. These
relations 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 is divided 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 and truth
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 interact with 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 linguists propose 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 definite descriptions.

Lingfield(s):	Philosophy of Language
Written In:	English (Language Code: ENG)

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