Research Article

Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 1-10

The existence entailments of definite descriptions

  • Paul ElbourneAffiliated withDepartment of Linguistics, Queen Mary, University of London Email author 

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Abstract

Contrary to a claim made by Kaplan (Mind 114:933–1003, 2005) and Neale (Mind 114:809–871, 2005), the readings available to sentences containing definite descriptions embedded under propositional attitude verbs and conditionals do pose a significant problem for the Russellian theory of definite descriptions. The Fregean theory of descriptions, on the other hand, deals easily with the relevant data.

Keywords

Definite descriptions Propositional attitudes Conditionals Presupposition