Are indefinite descriptions ambiguous?

@article{King1988AreID,
  title={Are indefinite descriptions ambiguous?},
  author={Jeffrey C. King},
  journal={Philosophical Studies},
  year={1988},
  volume={53},
  pages={417-440}
}
  • Jeffrey C. King
  • Published 1988
  • Philosophy
  • Philosophical Studies
  • Perhaps most philosophers would agree that 'a(n)' and 'some' at least sometimes function as existential quantifiers. This position entails that at least some occurrences of sentences such as: A man is in the next room. or Some man is in the next room. are true just in case at least one thing is a man and is in the next room. What is not as widely agreed upon is whether 'a(n)' and 'some' always serve to assert existential generalization. Let us call the view that 'a(n)' and 'some' are univocal… CONTINUE READING

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    * I have benefited greatly from discussing the issues addressed in this paper with Michael Liston

    • * I have benefited greatly from discussing the issues addressed in this paper with Michael Liston

    16 Ibid p. 375, their emphasis

    • 16 Ibid p. 375, their emphasis

    17 And AT as espoused by Fodor and Sag apparently is such a theory --see ibid note 10

    • 17 And AT as espoused by Fodor and Sag apparently is such a theory --see ibid note 10

    25 Fodor and Sag mention examples of this general sort, (see note 12 op. cit.), but deny that the relevant continuations are possible when the initial sentence is interpreted in the manner suggested

    • 25 Fodor and Sag mention examples of this general sort, (see note 12 op. cit.), but deny that the relevant continuations are possible when the initial sentence is interpreted in the manner suggested

    27) and (28) both come from Fodor and Sag's paper. I have given the examples different numbers so that they fit in with the numbering of examples in this paper

    • 27) and (28) both come from Fodor and Sag's paper. I have given the examples different numbers so that they fit in with the numbering of examples in this paper

    They consider an example containing a complement to a noun themselves, but, because I believe that extraneous factors affect their example, I have chosen a different one

    • Fodor, Sag
    • They consider an example containing a complement to a noun themselves, but, because I believe that extraneous factors affect their example, I have chosen a different one