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  1. Language and the complexity of the world.Paul Teller - manuscript
    Nature is complex, exceedingly so. A repercussion of this “complex world constraint” is that it is, in practice, impossible to connect words to the world in a foolproof manner. In this paper I explore the ways in which the complex world constraint makes vagueness, or more generally imprecision, in language in practice unavoidable, illuminates what vagueness comes to, and guides us to a sensible way of thinking about truth. Along the way we see that the problem of ceteris paribus laws (...)
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  2. Fine on the Possibility of Vagueness.Andreas Ditter - forthcoming - In Federico L. G. Faroldi & Frederik van De Putte (eds.), Outstanding Contributions to Logic: Kit Fine.
    Fine (2017) proposes a new logic of vagueness, CL, that promises to provide both a solution to the sorites paradox and a way to avoid the impossibility result from Fine (2008). The present paper presents a challenge to his new theory of vagueness. I argue that the possibility theorem stated in Fine (2017), as well as his solution to the sorites paradox, fail in certain reasonable extensions of the language of CL. More specifically, I show that if we extend the (...)
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  3. Quantifier Variance, Vague Existence, and Metaphysical Vagueness.Rohan Sud - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper asks: Is the quantifier variantist committed to metaphysical vagueness? My investigation of this question goes via a study of vague existence. I’ll argue that the quantifier variantist is committed to vague existence and that the vague existence posited by the variantist requires a puzzling sort of metaphysical vagueness. Specifically, I distinguish between (what I call) positive and negative metaphysical vagueness. Positive metaphysical vagueness is (roughly) the claim that there is vagueness in the world; negative metaphysical vagueness is (roughly) (...)
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  4. A Problem for Generic Generalisations in Scientific Communication.Mark Bowker - 2023 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 40 (1):123-132.
    Generic generalisations like ‘Opioids are highly addictive’ are very useful in scientific communication, but they can often be interpreted in many different ways. Although this is not a problem when all interpretations provide the same answer to the question under discussion, a problem arises when a generic generalisation is used to answer a question other than that originally intended. In such cases, some interpretations of the generalisation might answer the question in a way that the original speaker would not endorse. (...)
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  5. Ineliminable underdetermination and context-shifting arguments.Mark Bowker - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (2):215-236.
    ABSTRACT The truth-conditions of utterances are often underdetermined by the meaning of the sentence uttered, as suggested by the observation that the same sentence has different intuitive truth-values in different contexts. The intuitive difference is usually explained by assigning different truth-conditions to different utterances. This paper poses a problem for explanations of this kind: These truth-conditions, if they exist, are epistemically inaccessible. I suggest instead that truth-conditional underdetermination is ineliminable and these utterances have no truth-conditions. Intuitive truth-values are explained by (...)
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  6. How to Be a Spacetime Substantivalist.Trevor Teitel - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (5):233-278.
    The consensus among spacetime substantivalists is to respond to Leibniz's classic shift arguments, and their contemporary incarnation in the form of the hole argument, by pruning the allegedly problematic metaphysical possibilities that generate these arguments. Some substantivalists do so by directly appealing to a modal doctrine akin to anti-haecceitism. Other substantivalists do so by appealing to an underlying hyperintensional doctrine that implies some such modal doctrine. My first aim in this paper is to pose a challenge for all extant forms (...)
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  7. Supervaluationism and branching indeterminacy.David E. Taylor - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 62 (2):141-164.
    One of the most popular and enduring approaches to indeterminacy phenomena (e.g., vagueness) over the past several decades has been some form or another of supervaluationism. I argue that supervaluationism is inadequate as a model of indeterminacy: There is an entire class of examples of indeterminacy, characterized by a common “branching” structure, that cannot be modeled in the way supervaluationism proposes. I demonstrate my conclusion explicitly with respect to two specific examples—indeterminate personal identity and indeterminate reference—showing how supervaluationism can model (...)
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  8. The Demandingness of Virtue.Robert Weston Siscoe - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (1):1-22.
    How demanding is the virtuous life? Can virtue exist alongside hints of vice? Is it possible to be virtuous within a vicious society? A line of thinking running through Diogenes and the Stoics is that even a hint of corruption is inimical to virtue, that participating in a vicious society makes it impossible for a person to be virtuous. One response to this difficulty is to claim that virtue is a threshold concept, that context sets a threshold for what is (...)
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  9. Regret, Sub-optimality, and Vagueness.Chrisoula Andreou - 2019 - In Richard Dietz (ed.), Vagueness and Rationality in Language Use and Cognition. Springer Verlag. pp. 49-59.
    This paper concerns regret, where regretting is to be understood, roughly, as mourning the loss of a forgone good. My ultimate aim is to add a new dimension to existing debate concerning the internal logic of regret by revealing the significance of certain sorts of cases—including, most interestingly, certain down-to-earth cases involving vague goals—in relation to the possibility of regret in continued endorsement cases. Intuitively, it might seem like, in continued endorsement cases, an agent’s regret must be tied to the (...)
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  10. Incoherentism and the Sorites Paradox.Matti Eklund - 2019 - In Elia Zardini & Sergi Oms (eds.), The Sorites Paradox. Cambridge University Press.
  11. Loose Talk, Scale Presuppositions and QUD.Daniel Hoek - 2019 - In Julian J. Schlöder, Dean McHugh & Floris Roelofsen (eds.), Proceedings of the 22nd Amsterdam Colloquium. pp. 171-180.
    I present a new pragmatic theory of loose talk, focussing on the loose use of numbers and measurement expressions. The account explains loose readings as arising from a pragmatic mechanism aimed at restoring relevance to the question under discussion (QUD), appealing to Krifka's notion of a measurement scale. The core motivating observation is that the loose reading of a claim need not be weaker than its literal content, as almost all pragmatic treatments of loose talk have assumed (e.g. Lasersohn). The (...)
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  12. Delving deeper into color space.Yasmina Jraissati & Igor Douven - 2018 - I-Perception 9 (4):1-27.
    So far, color-naming studies have relied on a rather limited set of color stimuli. Most importantly, stimuli have been largely limited to highly saturated colors. Because of this, little is known about how people categorize less saturated colors and, more generally, about the structure of color categories as they extend across all dimensions of color space. This article presents the results from a large Internet-based color-naming study that involved color stimuli ranging across all available chroma levels in Munsell space. These (...)
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  13. Vague Naturalness as Ersatz Metaphysical Vagueness.Rohan Sud - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 11:243–277.
    I propose a view that I call "Ersatz Metaphysical Vagueness" according to which the term "perfectly natural" can be semantically vague. As its name suggests, the view mimics traditional metaphysical vagueness without the radical metaphysical underpinnings. In particular, the ersatzer avoids a widely accepted argument schema (advanced by JRG Williams, Ted Sider, Cian Dorr, John Hawthorne and others) according to which, if there is no metaphysical vagueness, F-ness cannot be both perfectly natural and vague.
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  14. A Minimal Characterization of Indeterminacy.David E. Taylor - 2018 - Philosophers' Imprint 18.
    The current literature on indeterminacy centers around two projects. One concerns the logic of indeterminacy; the other concerns its nature or source. The aim of this paper is to introduce, motivate and go some way toward addressing a new, third project: that of providing what I call a minimal characterization of indeterminacy. An MC, to a first approximation, is a relatively pre-theoretical characterization of indeterminacy that is neutral between the various substantive theories of the nature and logic of indeterminacy. An (...)
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  15. Vagueness and Family Resemblance.Hanoch Ben-Yami - 2017 - In Hans-Johann Glock (ed.), A Companion to Wittgenstein. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 407-419.
    Ben-Yami presents Wittgenstein’s explicit criticism of the Platonic identification of an explanation with a definition and the alternative forms of explanation he employed. He then discusses a few predecessors of Wittgenstein’s criticisms and the Fregean background against which he wrote. Next, the idea of family resemblance is introduced, and objections answered. Wittgenstein’s endorsement of vagueness and the indeterminacy of sense are presented, as well as the open texture of concepts. Common misunderstandings are addressed along the way. Wittgenstein’s ideas, as is (...)
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  16. Appendix to Juhani Yli-Vakkuri’s ‘Epistemicism and Modality’.Peter Fritz - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):836-838.
    A formal result is proved which is used in Juhani Yli-Vakkuri’s ‘Epistemicism and Modality’ to argue that certain two-dimensional possible world models are inadequate for a language with operators for ‘necessarily’, ‘actually’, and ‘definitely’.
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  17. Toward an Aesthetics of New-Media Environments.Eran Guter - 2016 - Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics.
    In this paper I suggest that, over and above the need to explore and understand the technological newness of computer art works, there is a need to address the aesthetic significance of the changes and effects that such technological newness brings about, considering the whole environmental transaction pertaining to new media, including what they can or do offer and what users do or can do with such offerings, and how this whole package is integrated into our living spaces and activities. (...)
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  18. Discourse Contextualism: A Framework for Contextualist Semantics and Pragmatics.Alex Silk - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    This book investigates context-sensitivity in natural language by examining the meaning and use of a target class of theoretically recalcitrant expressions. These expressions-including epistemic vocabulary, normative and evaluative vocabulary, and vague language -exhibit systematic differences from paradigm context-sensitive expressions in their discourse dynamics and embedding properties. Many researchers have responded by rethinking the nature of linguistic meaning and communication. Drawing on general insights about the role of context in interpretation and collaborative action, Silk develops an improved contextualist theory of CR-expressions (...)
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  19. Review of Sex, Ecology, Spirituality by Ken Wilber 2nd ed. 851p (2001).Michael Starks - 2016 - In Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century: Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization-- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 2nd Edition Feb 2018. Michael Starks. pp. 509-519.
    It is both amazing and fitting that this huge, jargon-laden (this book really needs a glossary!), heavily academic work has become a best seller in the world of the educated. One has to be dedicated to learn the jargon and then plow through 551 pages of text and 238 pages of notes. Meanwhile, we are told time and again that this is just an outline of what is to come! -/- Though he severely criticizes the excesses of the three movements, (...)
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  20. Reply to Yli-Vakkuri.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):839-851.
  21. Epistemicism and modality.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):803-835.
    What kind of semantics should someone who accepts the epistemicist theory of vagueness defended in Timothy Williamson’s Vagueness (1994) give a definiteness operator? To impose some interesting constraints on acceptable answers to this question, I will assume that the object language also contains a metaphysical necessity operator and a metaphysical actuality operator. I will suggest that the answer is to be found by working within a three-dimensional model theory. I will provide sketches of two ways of extracting an epistemicist semantics (...)
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  22. Personal identity, concerns, and indeterminacy.Matti Eklund - 2004 - The Monist 87 (4):489-511.
    Let the moral question of personal identity be the following: what is the nature of the entities we should focus our prudential concerns and ascriptions of responsibility around? (If indeed we should structure these things around any entities at all.) Let the semantic question of personal identity be the question of what is the nature of the entities that ‘person’ is true of. A naive (in the sense of simple and intuitive) view would have it that the two questions are (...)
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  23. The Goodman-Kripke Paradox.Robert Kowalenko - 2003 - Dissertation, King's College London
    The Kripke/Wittgenstein paradox and Goodman’s riddle of induction can be construed as problems of multiple redescription, where the relevant sceptical challenge is to provide factual grounds justifying the description we favour. A choice of description or predicate, in turn, is tantamount to the choice of a curve over a set of data, a choice apparently governed by implicitly operating constraints on the relevant space of possibilities. Armed with this analysis of the two paradoxes, several realist solutions of Kripke’s paradox are (...)
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