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Just what is vagueness?

Ratio 25 (1):19-33 (2012)

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  1. Vague Comparisons.Cristian Constantinescu - 2016 - Ratio 29 (4):357-377.
    Some comparisons are hard. How should we think about such comparisons? According to John Broome, we should think about them in terms of vagueness. But the vagueness account has remained unpopular thus far. Here I try to bolster it by clarifying the notion of comparative vagueness that lies at its heart.
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  • On Evaluative Imprecision.Teruji Thomas - 2022 - In Jeff McMahan, Timothy Campbell, Ketan Ramakrishnan & Jimmy Goodrich (eds.), Ethics and Existence: The Legacy of Derek Parfit. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 478-497.
    This chapter presents several arguments related to Parfit's notion of evaluative imprecision and his imprecisionist lexical view of population ethics. After sketching Parfit's view, it argues that, contrary to Parfit, imprecision and lexicality are both compatible with thinking about goodness in terms of positions on a scale of value. Then, by examining the role that imprecision is meant to play in defusing spectrum argument, it suggests that imprecision should be identified with vagueness. Next, it argues that there is space for (...)
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  • Vague Judgment: A Probabilistic Account.Paul Égré - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3837-3865.
    This paper explores the idea that vague predicates like “tall”, “loud” or “expensive” are applied based on a process of analog magnitude representation, whereby magnitudes are represented with noise. I present a probabilistic account of vague judgment, inspired by early remarks from E. Borel on vagueness, and use it to model judgments about borderline cases. The model involves two main components: probabilistic magnitude representation on the one hand, and a notion of subjective criterion. The framework is used to represent judgments (...)
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  • Excluded Knowledge.Christian Lee - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8):1-26.
    Does vagueness exclude knowledge? After arguing for an affirmative answer to this question, I consider a fascinating objection. Barnett offers purported counterexamples to the following: Vagueness as to whether p entails that nobody knows whether p. These putative counterexamples, were they successful, would establish that standard accounts of vagueness are mistaken. I defend three central theses: First, whenever it is vague whether p competent speakers would be ambivalent about whether p when considering whether p, and such ambivalence would exclude knowledge (...)
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  • Topics in Population Ethics.Teruji Thomas - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    This thesis consists of several independent papers in population ethics. I begin in Chapter 1 by critiquing some well-known 'impossibility theorems', which purport to show there can be no intuitively satisfactory population axiology. I identify axiological vagueness as a promising way to escape or at least mitigate the effects of these theorems. In particular, in Chapter 2, I argue that certain of the impossibility theorems have little more dialectical force than sorites arguments do. From these negative arguments I move to (...)
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  • Chain-Arguments and the Sorites Paradox.Ran Lanzet - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (3):589-604.
    A finite chain of valid arguments can never lead from truth to falsehood. Call this the concatenation principle, or CP. Some propose to reject CP in response to the sorites paradox. I offer...
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  • When to Think Like an Epistemicist.Matthew Mosdell - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):538-559.
    Epistemicism is the view that seemingly vague predicates are not in fact vague. Consequently, there must be a sharp boundary between a man who is bald and one who is not bald. Although such a view is often met with incredulity, my aim is to provide a defense of epistemicism in this essay. My defense, however, is backhanded: I argue that the formal commitments of epistemicism are the result of good practical reasoning, not metaphysical necessity. To get to that conclusion, (...)
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  • Sorites Paradox.Dominic Hyde & Diana Raffman - 2018 - In Edward Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • The Small Improvement Argument, Epistemicism and Incomparability.Edmund Tweedy Flanigan & John Halstead - 2018 - Economics and Philosophy 34 (2):199-219.
  • Emotion as the Categorical Basis for Moral Thought.Demian Whiting - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (4):533-553.
    I offer and develop an original answer to the question of whether emotion plays an important role in the formation of moral thought. In a nutshell, my answer will be that if motivational internalism provides us with a correct description of the nature of moral thought, then emotion plays an important role because emotion is required to explain or ground the behavioral dispositions that are involved in moral thought.
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  • Sorites Paradox.Dominic Hyde - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The sorites paradox is the name given to a class of paradoxical arguments, also known as little by little arguments, which arise as a result of the indeterminacy surrounding limits of application of the predicates involved. For example, the concept of a heap appears to lack sharp boundaries and, as a consequence of the subsequent indeterminacy surrounding the extension of the predicate ‘is a heap’, no one grain of wheat can be identified as making the difference between being a heap (...)
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