The Real Distinction between Descriptions and Indexicals

Carpintero, Manuel García (2005) The Real Distinction between Descriptions and Indexicals. Teorema: Revista internacional de filosofía, 24 (3). pp. 49-74. ISSN 0210-1602


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Some contemporary semantic views defend an asymmetry thesis concerning definite descriptions and indexicals. Semantically, indexicals are devices of singular reference; they contribute objects to the contents of the speech acts made with utterances including them. Definite descriptions, on the other hand, are generalized quantifiers, behaving roughly the way Russell envisaged in “On Denoting”. The asymmetry thesis depends on the existence of a sufficiently clear-cut distinction between semantics and pragmatics, because indexicals and descriptions are often used in ways that apparently contradict the asymmetry thesis; the semantics/pragmatics distinction is invoked to see behind the appearances. The paper critically examines arguments by Schiffer against the asymmetry thesis, based on referential uses of incomplete descriptions.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Journale, Kongresse, Vereinigungen > Teorema. Revista internacional de filosofia > Volume XXIV (2005)
Depositing User: Sissi Kemp
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2013 20:48
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2013 20:48

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