Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

Home Screenshot Tabelle Begriffe

Description theory: the thesis according to which the meaning of expressions corresponds to the description of the respective objects.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Bertrand Russell on Description Theory - Dictionary of Arguments

Hintikka I 165
Definition primary description: for them, the substitutability of identity (SI) applies.
Definition secondary description: for them the substitutability of identity (SI) fails.
I 166
E.g. Russell: two readings:
(1) George IV did not know whether Scott was the author of Waverley.
Description/Logical Form/Russell/Hintikka: "The Author of Waverley": (ix) A (x)
Primary: the description has the following force:

(2) (Ex)[A(x)&(y)A(y) > y = x) & George IV knew that (Scott = x).
((s) notation: the quantifier is here always a normal existence quantifier, mirrored E).
That is, the quantifier has maximum range in the primary description.
More likely, however, is the second reading:

(3) ~ George IV knew that (Ex)[A(x) & (y) > y = x & (Scott = x)].
((s) narrow range)
Range/HintikkaVsRussell: he did not know that there is a third possibility for the range of a quantifier ((s) "medium range"/Kripke).

(4) ~ (Ex) [A(x) & (y)(A (y)> y = x) & George IV knew that (Scott = x)].

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Russell I
B. Russell/A.N. Whitehead
Principia Mathematica Frankfurt 1986

Russell II
B. Russell
The ABC of Relativity, London 1958, 1969
German Edition:
Das ABC der Relativitätstheorie Frankfurt 1989

Russell IV
B. Russell
The Problems of Philosophy, Oxford 1912
German Edition:
Probleme der Philosophie Frankfurt 1967

Russell VI
B. Russell
"The Philosophy of Logical Atomism", in: B. Russell, Logic and KNowledge, ed. R. Ch. Marsh, London 1956, pp. 200-202
German Edition:
Die Philosophie des logischen Atomismus
Eigennamen, U. Wolf (Hg), Frankfurt 1993

Russell VII
B. Russell
On the Nature of Truth and Falsehood, in: B. Russell, The Problems of Philosophy, Oxford 1912 - Dt. "Wahrheit und Falschheit"
Wahrheitstheorien, G. Skirbekk (Hg), Frankfurt 1996

Hintikka I
Jaakko Hintikka
Merrill B. Hintikka
Investigating Wittgenstein
German Edition:
Untersuchungen zu Wittgenstein Frankfurt 1996

Hintikka II
Jaakko Hintikka
Merrill B. Hintikka
The Logic of Epistemology and the Epistemology of Logic Dordrecht 1989

Send Link
> Counter arguments against Russell
> Counter arguments in relation to Description Theory

Authors A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   Y   Z  

Concepts A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   Z  

Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-01-28
Legal Notice   Contact   Data protection declaration