This paper deals with the theme of Atonement. It is a rudimentary paper which has been prepared in a hurry in these trying times; especially for the use of students all over the world during the ongoing pandemic of COVID 19. It deals with the title of Atonement. The article should be cited properly if referred to by anyone. It is made open access since the author believes any knowledge worth sharing should be freely available to all.
This book proposes a new solution to the problem of vagueness. There are several different ways of addressing this problem and no clear agreement on which one is correct. The author proposes that it should be understood as the problem of explaining vague predicates in a way that systematizes six intuitions about the phenomenon and satisfies three criteria of adequacy for an ideal theory of vagueness. The third criterion, which is called the “criterion of precisification”, is the most controversial one. (...) It is based on the intuition that a predicate is vague only if it is imprecise. The author considers some different definitions of linguistic imprecision, proposing that a predicate is imprecise if and only if there is no sharp boundary between objects to which its application yields some particular truth-value and objects to which its application does not yield that truth-value. The volume critically reviews the current theories of vagueness and proposes a new one, the Theory of Vagueness as Arbitrariness, which defines a vague predicate as an arbitrary predicate that must be precisified in order to contribute to a sentence that has truth-conditions. The main advantages of this theory over the current alternatives are that it satisfies all three criteria and systematizes the relevant intuitions. (shrink)
In this dissertation, I argue that vagueness is a metaphysical phenomenon---that properties and objects can be vague---and propose a trivalent theory of vagueness meant to account for the vagueness in the world. In the first half, I argue against the theories that preserve classical logic. These theories include epistemicism, contextualism, and semantic nihilism. My objections to these theories are independent of considerations of the possibility that vagueness is a metaphysical phenomenon. However, I also argue that these theories are not capable (...) of accommodating metaphysical vagueness. As I move into my positive theory, I first argue for the possibility of metaphysical vagueness and respond to objections that charge that the world cannot be vague. One of these objections is Gareth Evans' much-disputed argument that vague identities are impossible. I then describe what I call the logic of states of affairs. The logic of states of affairs has as its atomic elements states of affairs that can obtain, unobtain, or be indeterminate. Finally, I argue that the logic of states of affairs is a better choice for a theory of vagueness than other logics that could accommodate metaphysical vagueness such as supervaluationism and degree theories. Preference should be given to the logic of states of affairs because it provides a better explanation of higher-order vagueness and does a better job of matching our ordinary understandings of logical operators than supervaluationism does and because it provides a more general account of indeterminacy than the account given by degree theories. Advisor: Reina Hayaki. (shrink)
One of the hardest problems in philosophy, one that has been around for over two thousand years without generating any significant consensus on its solution, involves the concept of vagueness: a word or concept that doesn't have a perfectly precise meaning. There is an argument that seems to show that the word or concept simply must have a perfectly precise meaning, as violently counterintuitive as that is. Unfortunately, the argument is usually so compressed that it is difficult to see why (...) exactly the problem is so hard to solve. In this article I attempt to explain just why it is that the problem – the sorites paradox – is so intractable.Export citation. (shrink)
Frege supposedly believes that vague predicates have no referent (Bedeutung). But given other things he evidently believes, such a position would seem to commit him to a suspect nihilism according to which assertoric sentences containing vague predicates are neither true nor false. I argue that we have good reason to resist ascribing to Frege the view that vague predicates have no Bedeutung and thus good reason to resist seeing him as committed to the suspect nihilism. In the process, I call (...) attention to several under-appreciated texts in which Frege suggests that a vague predicate, though lacking a Bedeutung of its own, can come to acquire a Bedeutung in certain contexts. The upshot of this suggestion is that vague predicates can serve the purposes of ordinary communication quite well, even if they are useless for logical purposes. (shrink)
I postulate that the extension of a degree adjective is fixed by implicitly accepted non-analytic reference-fixing principles (“preconceptions”) that combine appeals to paradigmatic cases with generic principles designed to expand the extension of the adjective beyond the paradigmatic range. In regular occasions of use, the paradigm and generic preconceptions are jointly satisfied and determine the existence of an extension/anti-extension pair dividing the adjective’s comparison class into two mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive subclasses. Sorites paradoxical occasions of use are irregular occasions (...) of use in which the paradigm and generic preconceptions are not jointly satisfied. In them, the relevant degree adjective lacks an extension, and utterances of sentences containing it appearing in sorites arguments do not have truth conditions. I also postulate a probable psychology of paradigm intuitions, used in a psychological explanation of the preference for solutions of the sorites paradox on which paradigm preconceptions retain their intuitive truth-values. (shrink)
In a paper called 'Definiteness and Knowability', Tim Williamson addresses the question whether one must accept that vagueness is an epistemic phenomenon if one adopts classical logic and a disquotational principle for truth. Some have suggested that one must not, hence that classical logic and the disquotational principle may be preserved without endorsing epistemicism. Williamson’s paper, however, finds ‘no plausible way of substantiating that possibility’. Its moral is that ‘either classical logic fails, or the disquotational principle does, or vagueness is (...) an epistemic phenomenon’. The moral of this paper, on the contrary, is that there is a plausible way of substantiating that possibility. The option it contemplates looks like a view that Williamson dismisses at the beginning of his paper, and that others regard as unworthy of serious consideration. (shrink)
In this paper I argue, first, that the only difference between Epistemicism and Nihilism about vagueness is semantic rather than ontological, and second, that once it is clear what the difference between these views is, Nihilism is a much more plausible view of vagueness than Epistemicism. Given the current popularity of certain epistemicist views (most notably, Williamson’s), this result is, I think, of interest.
The dissertation has two parts, each dealing with a problem, namely: 1) What is the most adequate account of fuzziness -the so-called phenomenon of vagueness?, and 2) what is the most plausible solution to the sorites, or heap paradox? I will try to show that fuzzy properties are those which are gradual, amenable to be possessed in a greater or smaller extent. Acknowledgement of degrees in the instantiation of a property allows for a gradual transition from one opposite to the (...) other, each intermediate stage constituting an overlap in certain proportion of both contraries. Hence, degrees in the possession of a property give rise to simple contradictions. The reason why I have chosen those two questions is that they provide the main philosophical motivation for a particular brand of an infinite valued and paraconsistent logic. I will claim that Classical logic (CL) is not adequate to handle fuzzy situations, and, being deficient, is in need of being expanded to make room for degrees of truth and weak contradictions. One can hardly deny the importance of the debate, since what is ultimately at stake is what the limits of truth, rationality, intelligibility and possibility are. The main disciplines within which the research moves are the philosophy of language, philosophy of logic, and ontology. (shrink)
[Author's note: I am posting this dissertation since it may be of interest to some people working on vagueness and related topics. It does not represent my current views on the topic. I have never attempted to publish any of this work, though I hope some day to return to it.] -/- Philosophers have devoted a lot of attention to vagueness in recent years, but there is still no general consensus about how to resolve the Sorites paradox. Timothy Williamson‘s epistemic (...) view, which claims that our vague terms have unknown sharp boundaries, is the most popular and most controversial current account. No one has shown exactly what is wrong the epistemic view and no one has provided a satisfying alternative to it. These two projects – articulating what is wrong with the epistemic view, and providing a plausible alternative – are the primary goals of this dissertation. -/- Additionally, I survey ordinary intuitions that underlie Sorites paradoxes, and I note how these intuitions inform, and are informed by, a number of deeper philosophical debates in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, and ethics. In part, this serves as an explanation of why the Sorites paradox has remained so difficult to resolve. -/- The most common objection to the epistemic view – that it provides an unsatisfactory account of the connection between meaning and use – has not been successful in undermining the view. My own objection is a metaphysical, and not a semantic, objection: the epistemic view fails to provide the best explanation of what objects and properties exist. Instead, an eliminativist account of macro-level objects and properties, according to which there are no mountains and there is no property of being lavender-colored, is a better metaphysical account than one that claims that there are mountains and color properties that have sharp boundaries. -/- Of course, this eliminativist view is intuitively unappealing, and to show how statements in ordinary language can in some way be taken to be true, I introduce the normative choice account. According to this view, although non-normative facts about linguistic behavior and about the external world do not determine a precise reference for our terms, our choices may do so. I claim that this provides all that is needed for there to be semantic normativity. First, we are still guided in our choices to some extent by psychological tendencies, and second, there are resources in semantic deliberation to respond to aberrant uses of language. (shrink)
The nature of vagueness is investigated via a preliminary definition and a discussion of the classical sorites paradox ; this is carried further by asking for the origins of vagueness and a critique of several attempts to remove it from language. It is shown that such attempts are ill motivated and doomed for failure since vagueness is not just a matter of ignorance but firmly grounded in epistemic and metaphysical facts. Finally, the philosophical interest of real vagueness is illustrated by (...) the concept of “natural kind”, which is essential to realism/anti-realism debates. (shrink)
Unger claims that we can block sorites arguments for the conclusion that there are no ordinary things only by invoking some kind of miracle, but no such miracle is needed if we reject the principle that every statement has a truth value. Wheeler's argument for the nonexistence of ordinary things depends on the assumptions that if ordinary things exist, they comprise real kinds, and that if ordinary predicates really apply to things, the predicates refer to real properties. If we accept (...) Wheeler's criteria for the reality of kinds and properties, we have no good reason to accept these assumptions. (shrink)