A Strawsonian Objection to Russell’s Theory of Descriptions

Ramachandran, Murali (1993) A Strawsonian Objection to Russell’s Theory of Descriptions. Analysis, 53 (4). pp. 209-212. ISSN 00032638

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One of Strawson's objections to Russell's theory of descriptions (RTD) is that what are intuitively natural and correct (i.e., true) utterances of sentences involving incomplete (definite) descriptions come out false by RTD. Russellians have responded, not by challenging Strawson's view that these uses are natural and correct, but by embellishing RTD to accommodate these uses. I pursue an alternative line of attack: I argue that there are (hypothetical) circumstances in which "we" would find utterances of such sentences unnatural and improper but "RTD" (embellished or not) would sanction. So, RTD clashes with ordinary language, as Strawson suggests.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
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Depositing User: Murali Ramachandran
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2010
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 22:36
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/2272

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