This auspicious new volume is designed for linguists who are interested in the deeper issues of their science. Introduction to Linguistic Philosophy lays a solid foundation of linguistic philosophy presenting theories of leading linguistic analysts such as Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, and Quine. I. E. MackenzieÆs exploration into these theories equips readers for advanced work on most topics in semantics and the study of language. The structure of this book reflects the fact that the philosophical study of language is not systematic, but centers on aspects of language that are considered to be of fundamental conceptual significance. Therefore, this book need not be read in any specific order. Whenever a chapter presupposes an understanding of something that is explained elsewhere in the book, a specific cross-reference is given. MackenzieÆs approach to the philosophy of language stresses the importance of observing how language is used rather than the assuming that it conforms to a pre-existing logical structure. In addition to dealing with foundational issues, such as truth, meaning, and the nature of language, this book explores specific linguistic phenomenaùdescriptions, names, non-extesional contexts and quantificationùwhich have attracted considerable philosophical attention. Introduction to Linguistic Philosophy is a student-centered resource that is recommended for students in linguistics, communication, and philosophy.
Chapter 7: Descriptions as Names
Descriptions as Names
7.1. The Fregean Theory
7.1.1. Concepts and Objects
In linguistics, Frege is well known for his sense-nominatum (Sinn-Bedeutung) distinction (see 22.214.171.124). Another key dichotomy was between object (Gegenstand) and concept (Begriff), and this division was examined at length in a paper called, not surprisingly, “Ueber Begriff und Gegenstand” (published 1892, which appears here as Frege 1960:42–55). Concepts, or the expressions designating them, were predicative in nature, whereas object words, which Frege called proper names, were incapable of occurring as predicates. We might be tempted to say that this view is incorrect because in each of, for example,
(1) A is Alexander the Great
(2) B is the morning star,
we appear to have an object expression in predicative position. But that analysis betrays ...