|Description: A. Characterization of singular objects or events instead of giving a name. As opposed to names descriptions are not rigid, i.e. they may refer to different objects in different worlds. - B. Linguistic form for attributing predicates according to the perceptions of objects. See also rigidity, theory of descriptions.|
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Theory of Descriptions/unicorn/Russell/Prior: a) "the so-and-so ft" - b) "X thinks that the so-and-so ft" - in a) and b) the marking has the same meaning whether the object exists or does not exist - in b) the sentence even has the same truth value.
Theory of Descriptions/Russell: singular names: "The only thing that ft" - Geach: this analysis has two parts: a) explicitly predicative use: "x is the only thing that ft" - b) use as apparent subject: can be explained as an explication of an implicit predicative use: "the only thing that ft, yt." - a) as "something that .." b) "If something ..." - Prior: solution for non-existing - Problem: different scope: a) as part of a complex predicate: "Something is both the only-thing- that-ft and not yt ". b) as part of a complex sentence: "It is not the case that .." - markings: useful: "the f-re does not exist" not with logically proper name "this".
Champagne-Example/PriorVsRussell: has overlooked that markings can be used differently : "the man over there," does not speak of something that it is "man" or that it is "over there" - if it is true that he is clever, then even if it is a disguised woman - attribution does not require proper identification - it is only required that it is "the only ...".
Objects of thought Oxford 1971
Arthur N. Prior
Papers on Time and Tense 2nd Edition Oxford 2003