Conclusion: Accounting for the Referentialist Data
We are now ready to show that a descriptivist approach to singular reference , specifically the theory CD, can account for the data that have marked the emergence of referentialism and the demise of descriptivism since the 1970 s. These data and the corresponding pro-referentialist and anti-descriptivist arguments have been reviewed in Chapter 4. I shall now turn to them again, this time from the perspective of CD. At the end of this chapter, I shall dwell on how referentialists have tried to account for the descriptivist data of Chapter 3 in order to underline the theoretical burdens that they must face in addressing them. By putting these two strands together, it will be seen, I hope, that descriptivism deserves more consideration than it is nowadays usually accorded and perhaps even that it is preferable to referentialism after all.