|Description: A. Characterization of singular objects or events instead of giving a name. As opposed to names descriptions are not rigid, i.e. they may refer to different objects in different worlds. - B. Linguistic form for attributing predicates according to the perceptions of objects. See also rigidity, theory of descriptions.|
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|Descriptions||Cresswell I 117
Descriptions/Russell: are never names - Other authors VsRussell: Descriptions are names, but not of normal objects but of intensional objects (various objects in different worlds). - CresswellVs intentional objects.
Geach I 61
Description/Russell is never a name: E.g. The Duke of Cambridge is also a pub, but the Duke does not sell beer.
Newen/Schrenk I 90
Theory of Descriptions/Russell: E.g. 1. There is at least one author of "Waverley" (existence assertion) - 2. There is at most one author of "Waverley" (uniqueness assertion)
- 3. Whoever wrote "Waverley", was a Scot (statement content) - E.g. The current King of France/empty names: At least one king of France is bald - 2. At most one - 3. whoever ... is bald - E.g. identity: at least one denounced Catiline - 2. At most one ... - 1* at least one wrote "De Oratore" - 2* at most one ... - 3. Whoever denounced Catiline, wrote ... - E.g. negative existence sentences "It is not the case that 1. At least one .. - 2. At most one ... - RussellVsFrege: thus one avoids to accept Fregean sense as an abstract entity.
Truth-value gaps/RussellVsFrege: they too are thus avoided.
N.B.: sentences that seemed to be about a subject, are now about general propositions about the world.
Russell I VIII
E.g. Waverley - all true sentences have the same meaning - e.g. "Author of Waverley." Is no description of Scott - Description (labeling) is not the same as assertion - this does not refer to an object. - StrawsonVs - A sentence with "Waverley" says nothing about Scott, because it does not contain Scott.
Labelling/Russell: always in the singular E.g. "father of" but not "son of" (not clear - always presuppoes quotes without "the": "jx": "x is φ" - instead of (ix)(jx) in short "R'y": the R of y, "the father of y" - characterizing function, not propositional function all mathematical functions are distinctive features
Labelling/Principia Mathematica/Russell: "The author of Waverley" means nothing - we cannot
define (ix)(jx) only its use - (> Definition).
Labelling/Russell/Flor: are not names - reason: otherwise it would result in a mere triviality: "a = a" or something wrong. E.g. "The Snow man does not exist" is something different than to say, "Paul does not exist" - Descriptions: incomplete symbols - ((s) If description were names, they could not fail.)
B. Russell/A.N. Whitehead
Principia Mathematica Frankfurt 1986
Das ABC der Relativitätstheorie Frankfurt 1989
Probleme der Philosophie Frankfurt 1967
Die Philosophie des logischen Atomismus
Eigennamen, U. Wolf (Hg), Frankfurt 1993
Wahrheit und Falschheit
Wahrheitstheorien, G. Skirbekk (Hg), Frankfurt 1996
M. J. Cresswell
Semantical Essays (Possible worlds and their rivals) Dordrecht Boston 1988
M. J. Cresswell
Structured Meanings Cambridge Mass. 1984
Logic Matters Oxford 1972