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Abstract

In this paper it will be shown that a substantial conception of semantics, one that does not regard semantic phenomena as subsumed under pragmatic ones, is necessary to account for what cries out for an explanation regarding the old problem of the semantic relevance of the referential/attributive distinction, as applied to singular definite descriptions. I consider some alternative proposals to deal with the data, showing why they are wrong, and I finish by establishing that some arguments that allegedly derive the conclusion that some substantial conception of semantics is basically wrong, simply beg the question against their opponents, assuming a form of the very conclusion they want to vindicate.

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