Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Denotation, naming: specify a word or phrase for an object. Related terms description designation.

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 Denotation - Dictionary of Arguments

Hintikka I 165
On Denoting/Russell/Hintikka: (Russell 1905) Problem: with phrases that stand for real constituents of propositions.
Problem/Frege: failure of the substitutability of the identity (SI) in intensional contexts.
Informative identity/Frege: that identity can sometimes be informative at all is related to this.
EG/existential generalization/Russell: it, too, can fail in intensional contexts, (problem of empty terms).
HintikkaVsRussell: he does not recognize the depth of the problem and rather avoids the problems with denotating terms.
The present King/Russell: Problem: we cannot prove by existential generalization that there is a present king of France.
HintikkaVsRussell: but there are other problems. (See below: because of the ambiguity of the cross-world identification).
Hintikka I 173
Denotation/Russell/Hintikka: N.B.: a brilliant feature of Russell's theory of the denotation from 1905 is that it is the quantifiers who denote!
Theory of Description/Russell: (end of "On Denoting") Thesis: contains the reduction of descriptions on objects of acquaintance.
I 174
Hintikka: this connection is astonishing. It also appears to be circular, only to admit objects of acquaintance.
Solution: we must see what successfully denotating phrases actually denote: they denote objects of acquaintance.
Ambiguity/uniqueness/Hintikka: it is precisely ambiguity that leads to the failure of the existential generalization.
E.g. Waverley/Russell/Hintikka: that only objects of acquaintance are allowed, shows its own example: "the author of Waverley" in (1) is actually a primary event, i.e. his example (2).
"Whether"/Russell/Hintikka: only difference: wanted to know "whether" instead of "did not know".
Secondary Description/Russell: can also be expressed in the way that George wanted to know from the man who actually wrote Waverley whether he was Scott.
I 175
That would be the case if George IV had seen Scott (at a distance) and asked "Is that Scott?".
HintikkaVsRussell: why does Russell choose an example with a perceptually known individual? Do we not normally deal with individuals of flesh and blood, whose identity is known to us, rather than merely with perceptual objects?
Knowledge who/knowledge what/perception object/Russell/Hintikka: precisely in the case of perception objects, it seems as if the kind of uniqueness that we need for a knowledge-who does not exist.

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

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-01-28
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