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By Keith Donnellan

Keith Donnellan is among the significant figures in twentieth century philosophy of language and brain, a key member of the hugely influential team that altered the process philosophy of language and brain round 1970. An cutting edge thinker, Donnellan's basic contributions have been released in article shape instead of books. This quantity provides a hugely centred choice of articles by way of Donnellan, starting along with his 1966 groundbreaking "Reference and certain Descriptions," traditionally the 1st stream within the direct reference direction.

In the past due sixties and early 1970's, the philosophy of language and brain went via a paradigm shift, with the then-dominant Fregean thought being puzzled by means of what has turn out to be referred to as "the direct reference turn." Donnellan performed a key position during this shift, concentrating on the relation of reference--a touchstone within the philosophy of language--and the relation of "thinking about"--a key suggestion within the philosophy of brain. The debates concerning the metaphysical and epistemological foundations of direct reference ended up forming the agendas of the philosophies of language and brain. Donnellan's rules are the center of such ongoing debates.

This quantity, which collects his key contributions courting from the overdue 1960's in the course of the early 1980's along an advent through one of many editors, Joseph Almog, disseminates the paintings to a brand new viewers and for posterity. This assortment could be of curiosity to philosophers of language and brain, and of latest metaphysics and epistemology, in addition to of linguistics and cognitive psychology.

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4. , p. 162. 5. , p. 170. 6. Here and elsewhere I use the disjunction “presuppose or imply” to avoid taking a stand that would side me with Russell or Strawson on the issue of what the relationship involved is. To take a stand here would be beside my main point as 28 REFERENCE AND DEFINITE DESCRIPTIONS well as being misleading, since later on I shall argue that the presupposition orimplication arises in a different way depending upon the use to which the definite description is put. ” 7. In a footnote added to the original version of “On Referring” (op.

As we have seen, it is possible for the linguistic purpose of the speech act to be accomplished in such a case even though nothing fits the description; it is possible to say something true or to ask a question that gets answered or to issue a 15 E S S AY S O N R E F E R E N C E command that gets obeyed. For when the definite description is used referentially, one’s audience may succeed in seeing to what one refers even though neither it nor anything else fits the description. VI The result of the last section shows something to be wrong with the theories of both Russell and Strawson; for though they give differing accounts of the implication or presupposition involved, each gives only one.

But this lack of particularity is absent from the referential use of definite descriptions precisely because the description is here merely a device for getting one’s audience to pick out or think of the thing to be spoken about, a device which may serve its function even if the description is incorrect. More importantly perhaps, in the referential use as opposed to the attributive, there is a right thing to be picked out by the audience and its being the right thing is not simply a function of its fitting the description.

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