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Title of Journal: Erkenn

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Abbravation: Erkenntnis

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Springer Netherlands

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10.1007/s10670-016-9821-y

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1572-8420

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Understanding the Intentions Behind the Referential/Attributive Distinction

Authors: Megan Henricks Stotts,

Publish Date: 2016/06/02
Volume: 82, Issue:2, Pages: 351-362
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Abstract

In his recently published John Locke Lectures, Saul Kripke attempts to capture Keith Donnellan’s referential/attributive distinction for definite descriptions using a distinction between general and specific intentions. I argue that although Kripke’s own way of capturing the referential/attributive distinction is inadequate, we can use general and specific intentions to successfully capture the distinction if we also distinguish between primary and secondary intentions. An attributive use is characterized by the fact that the general intention is either the primary or only designative intention, whereas a referential use occurs when a specific intention is either the primary or only designative intention. Along the way, accounts of the referential/attributive distinction offered by John Searle and by Kepa Korta and John Perry come in for criticism as well, and we’ll also discuss Michael O’Rourke’s dual-aspect uses of definite descriptions.


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