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Extra resources for Descriptions and Beyond
I Wnd it hard to believe anyone has ever proposed such a clumsy and bizarre view’ (Neale 2000: 292). 5 A well-known problem with the ellipsis theory is that it is indeterminate which completion the speaker has in mind. That problem arises at several levels. To see that let us distinguish three things: • o, the reference or denotatum (an object); • P, some uniquely identifying property of o through which it is singled out, and which provides the (contextual) sense of the description; • a, some linguistic expression explicitly expressing P.
Explicit and Implicit Binding of Situational Variables It is often said that the completion problem concerns quantiWers in general, and descriptions as a special case (since descriptions themselves can be construed as quantiWers—a view which I accept). The treatment in terms of situations seems to support such a view. In Recanati 2000 I oVered the following picture: a situation is a portion of the world which determines a set of facts—the facts which hold in the situation. Each fact consists of an n-place relation and a sequence of n arguments.
Incomplete Descriptions 5. But it is a fact that there are attributive uses of incomplete descriptions (as in the murderer example). 6. It follows that the focus situation is not always referred to: hence situational referentialism is false. Faced with the alleged counter-example and the alleged refutation, the situational referentialist has an easy reply. Assumption 1 can and should be denied. g. I can perceive a cow without perceiving its tail), one can perceive or demonstratively refer to a situation without perceiving or demonstratively referring to all its constituents.