Paper 3 - Joshua Ahn #8876229 Philosophy 100C Paper 3...

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Joshua Ahn #8876229 Philosophy 100C Paper 3 Section: Wed @1 Russell’s Theory of Descriptions Bertrand Russell’s theory of descriptions is one of his most important contributions to the philosophy of language. This theory was developed by Russell regarding the logical form of expressions involving denoting phrases. In this theory, Russell divides these denoting phrases into three groups, phrases that do not denote anything, such as “the present King of France,” phrases that denote one definite thing, such as “the present King of England,” and phrases that denote ambiguously, such as “a man.” In particular, Russell’s theory is concerned most about the latter two types of phrases that involve definite descriptions and indefinite descriptions. This theory attempts to solve the problem of sentences that contain co-referring expressions and non- referring expressions, such as, “the present King of France is bald”. Co-referring expressions are a problem because even though two names denote the same thing, they cannot be substituted for each other. The most famous example of this is the case of the morning star and the evening star, even though they denote the same planet they cannot be used in place for one another. One cannot say “The evening star rises in the morning” and mean the same thing as “The morning star rises in the morning,” even though both the morning star and the evening star refer to the same planet, Venus. Non-referring
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Paper 3 - Joshua Ahn #8876229 Philosophy 100C Paper 3...

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