Singular Reference: A Descriptivist Perspective
Singular reference is the relation that a singular term has to a corresponding individual. For example, "Obama" singularly refer to the current US president. Descriptivism holds that all singular terms refer by means of a concept associated to the term. The current trend is against this. This book explains in detail (mainly for newcomers) why anti-descriptivism became dominant in spite of its weaknesses and (for experts) how these weaknesses can be overcome by appropriately reviving descriptivism.
Francesco Orilia studied philosophy at the university of Palermo (M.A., 1979) and then, after being granted a Fulbright grant, at Indiana University, Bloomington (Ph.D., 1986), where he was a student of Hector-Neri Castañeda, Nino B. Cocchiarella and J. M. Dunn. From 1987 to 1994 he was a researcher in artificial intelligence at the Olivetti research lab in Pisa and from July 1994 to July 1997 a researcher/lecturer in theoretical philosophy at the University of Cagliari. Since August 1997 he has been with the university of Macerata where he is currently professor of philosophy of language. He also had visiting positions at Indiana University, Bloomington (1986), University of Paris IV (2005), University of Iowa at Iowa City (2006), Cambridge University (2008). In the period 2000-2003 he was a member of the selection committee of the E. W. Beth Dissertation Prize for logic, language, and information and he is now in the editorial board of Metaphysica. He has written or co-edited a few books and published many papers in international journals such as Dialectica, Journal of Philosophical Logic, Journal of Symbolic Logic, Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, Minds and Machines, Synthese, Topoi.