On Inadequacy of Bertrand Russell’s Distinction between Primary and Secondary Occurrences of Denoting Phrases

Keywords: primary occurrence, secondary occurrence, denoting phrase, definite description, scope


In his seminal work „On denoting” Bertrand Russell introduces distinction between primary and secondary occurrences of denoting phrases. The distinction enables description of ambiguities of some statements containing denoting phrases. As Saul Kripke pointed, although Russell’s distinction seems to be dual, it is possible that some ambiguous statements containing denoting phrases can be interpreted in more than just two ways. In present article I argue that there are even some other possible interpretations, not mentioned neither by Russell, nor by Kripke. Furthermore I am showing that those other possible interpretations are also distinct from so called Fodor’s readings.


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