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Essays on Reference, Language, and Mind$
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Keith Donnellan, Joseph Almog, and Paolo Leonardi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199857999

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199857999.001.0001

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Speaker Reference, Descriptions, and Anaphora

Speaker Reference, Descriptions, and Anaphora

(p.115) [5] Speaker Reference, Descriptions, and Anaphora
Essays on Reference, Language, and Mind

Keith Donnellan

Joseph Almog

Paolo Leonardi

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the connection between “speaker reference” and “semantic reference”. The distinction between the two uses of definite descriptions have importance beyond a contribution to the understanding of how definite descriptions work and the problems it seems to pose for the theories of Bertrand Russell and Peter Strawson on that matter. The chapter assesses whether there are two uses of definite descriptions in the sense of two semantic functions, in one of which the description conveys speaker reference and in the other not; or if definite descriptions are used in two kinds of circumstances, in one of which there is an accompanying phenomenon of speaker reference though it has no effect on the semantic reference of the description.

Keywords:   speaker reference, semantic reference, definite descriptions, Bertrand Russell, Peter Strawson

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