Russell here offers us an analysis of a sentence containing a description. The surface appearance of the sentence suggests it is used to make a single claim. According to Russell, appearances are deceptive – the surface appearance disguises the sentence’s true ‘logical form’. We are actually dealing with a conjunction of three distinct claims. A little analysis reveals this hidden logical structure.
An interesting feature of Russell’s analysis of sentences containing descriptions is that it entails descriptions are not referring expressions. To see why, let’s take a brief look at another sort of expression – the quantifier. Consider this expression: