Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte vol:101 issue:2 pages:82-98
A recent topic in the study of descriptions is the possibility of dropping uniqueness from the semantic content of definite descriptions, thus attaining a unified quantificational account of the semantics of definite and indefinite descriptions. In this article, this unified account is presented and placed within a broader historical context. We argue that uniqueness is not as central to Russell's account of definite descriptions as is traditionally supposed and that there are good reasons to drop it. We provide an overview of the meaning differences between definite and indefinite descriptions and present an (independently motivated) pragmatic account of these differences.