Borisov E. How Do We Use Definite Descriptions to Express Singular Propositions? // Problemos. № 85 (2014). Pp. 130-140.

Borisov E. How Do We Use Definite Descriptions to Express Singular Propositions? // Problemos. № 85 (2014). Pp. 130-140.

Abstract. The paper is devoted to the question: under what conditions do we express a singular proposition (in the Kaplanian sense) when uttering a sentence containing a definite description as the subject term. It is argued that Wettstein’s claim that singularity of a proposition is determined by the demonstration of the referent of definite description accompanying the utterance contains an inconsistency. An alternative criterion of singularity is proposed: we express a singular proposition if the definite description in question is to be evaluated at a single possible world, and we express a general one if the definite description in question is to be evaluated at a range of possible worlds. This criterion is effective in explaining controversial cases in which we manage to express a true singular proposition with a subject constituent that does not fit the definite description used in the utterance.

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