LINGUIST List 24.2789

Tue Jul 09 2013

Books: Definite Descriptions: Elbourne

Editor for this issue: Rebekah McClure <rebekahlinguistlist.org>



Date: 05-Jul-2013
From: Annie Leyman <annie.leymanoup.com>
Subject: Definite Descriptions: Elbourne
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Title: Definite Descriptions Series Title: Oxford Studies in Semantics and Pragmatics Published: 2013 Publisher: Oxford University Press
                http://www.oup.com/us

Book URL: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199660209.do

Author: Paul D. Elbourne Hardback: ISBN: 9780199660193 Pages: 272 Price: U.K. £ 65.00
Paperback: ISBN: 9780199660209 Pages: 272 Price: U.K. £ 24.99
Abstract:

This book argues that definite descriptions ('the table', 'the King of France') refer to individuals, as Gottlob Frege claimed. This apparently simple conclusion flies in the face of philosophical orthodoxy, which incorporates Bertrand Russell's theory that definite descriptions are devices of quantification. Paul Elbourne presents the first fully-argued defence of the Fregean view. He builds an explicit fragment of English using a version of situation semantics. He uses intrinsic aspects of his system to account for the presupposition projection behaviour of definite descriptions, a range of modal properties, and the problem of incompleteness. At the same time, he draws on an unusually wide range of linguistic and philosophical literature, from early work by Frege, Peano, and Russell to the latest findings in linguistics, philosophy of language, and psycholinguistics. His penultimate chapter addresses the semantics of pronouns and offers a new and more radical version of his earlier thesis that they too are Fregean definite descriptions.

Linguistic Field(s): Philosophy of Language                             Pragmatics                             Semantics
Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website: http://linguistlist.org/pubs/books/get-book.cfm?BookID=66452


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