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Sorites paradox

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)

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  1. Modal Realism and the Possibility of Island Universes: Why There Are No Possible Worlds.Jiri Benovsky - 2021 - Metaphysica 22 (1):1-13.
    In this article, I defend Lewisian modal realism against objections arising from the possibility of ‘Island Universes’ and other similar cases. The problem comes from Lewis’ claim that possible worlds are spatio-temporally isolated. I suggest a modification of Lewisian modal realism in order to avoid this family of objections. This modification may sound quite radical since it amounts to abandoning the very notion of a possible world, but as radical as it may sound it in fact remains well in the (...)
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  • Is Classical Mathematics Appropriate for Theory of Computation?Farzad Didehvar - manuscript
    Throughout this paper, we are trying to show how and why our Mathematical frame-work seems inappropriate to solve problems in Theory of Computation. More exactly, the concept of turning back in time in paradoxes causes inconsistency in modeling of the concept of Time in some semantic situations. As we see in the first chapter, by introducing a version of “Unexpected Hanging Paradox”,first we attempt to open a new explanation for some paradoxes. In the second step, by applying this paradox, it (...)
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  • Utilitarianism and Heuristics.Bernward Gesang - 2021 - Journal of Value Inquiry 55 (4):705-723.
  • On the Borders of Vagueness and the Vagueness of Borders.Rory Collins - 2018 - Vassar College Journal of Philosophy 5:30-44.
    This article argues that resolutions to the sorites paradox offered by epistemic and supervaluation theories fail to adequately account for vagueness. After explaining the paradox, I examine the epistemic theory defended by Timothy Williamson and discuss objections to his semantic argument for vague terms having precise boundaries. I then consider Rosanna Keefe's supervaluationist approach and explain why it fails to accommodate the problem of higher-order vagueness. I conclude by discussing how fuzzy logic may hold the key to resolving the sorites (...)
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  • Téléologie et fonctions en biologie. Une approche non causale des explications téléofonctionnelles.Alberto Molina Pérez - 2017 - Dissertation, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
    This dissertation focuses on teleology and functions in biology. More precisely, it focuses on the scientific legitimacy of teleofunctional attributions and explanations in biology. It belongs to a multi-faceted debate that can be traced back to at least the 1970s. One aspect of the debate concerns the naturalization of functions. Most authors try to reduce, translate or explain functions and teleology in terms of efficient causes so that they find their place in the framework of the natural sciences. Our approach (...)
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  • Leadership and Character(s): Behavioral Business Ethics in ‘War and Peace’.Christopher Michaelson - 2022 - Journal of Business Ethics 177 (1):31-47.
    Leo Tolstoy was on to behavioral ethics before there was such as a thing as behavioral ethics. Three scenes from his magnum opus, War and Peace, demonstrate that Tolstoy diagnosed some of the same problems that occupy modern behavioral ethics: confirmation bias, slippery-slope reasoning, and illusions of control. However, whereas modern behavioral ethics has done more to diagnose problems than to prescribe solutions, Tolstoy’s theories of moral psychology and leadership provide direction for human moral self-cultivation. This analysis of War and (...)
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  • Fundamental Nomic Vagueness.Eddy Keming Chen - 2022 - Philosophical Review 131 (1):1-49.
    If there are fundamental laws of nature, can they fail to be exact? In this paper, I consider the possibility that some fundamental laws are vague. I call this phenomenon 'fundamental nomic vagueness.' I characterize fundamental nomic vagueness as the existence of borderline lawful worlds and the presence of several other accompanying features. Under certain assumptions, such vagueness prevents the fundamental physical theory from being completely expressible in the mathematical language. Moreover, I suggest that such vagueness can be regarded as (...)
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  • Vague Objects with Sharp Boundaries.Jiri Benovsky - 2014 - Ratio 27 (1):29-39.
    In this article I shall consider two seemingly contradictory claims: first, the claim that everybody who thinks that there are ordinary objects has to accept that they are vague, and second, the claim that everybody has to accept the existence of sharp boundaries to ordinary objects. The purpose of this article is of course not to defend a contradiction. Indeed, there is no contradiction because the two claims do not concern the same ‘everybody’. The first claim, that all ordinary objects (...)
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  • A Formal Account of Opportunism Based on the Situation Calculus.Jieting Luo & John-Jules Meyer - 2017 - AI and Society 32 (4):527-542.
    In social interactions, it is common for individuals to possess different amounts of knowledge about a specific transaction, and those who are more knowledgeable might perform opportunistic behavior to others in their interest, which promotes their value but demotes others’ value. Such a typical social behavior is called opportunistic behavior. In this paper, we propose a formal account of opportunism based on the situation calculus. We first propose a model of opportunism that only considers a single action between two agents, (...)
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  • A Common Neoliberal Trajectory: The Transformation of Industrial Relations in Advanced Capitalism.Chris Howell & Lucio Baccaro - 2011 - Politics and Society 39 (4):521-563.
    Based on quantitative indicators for fifteen advanced countries between 1974 and 2005, and case studies of France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Ireland, this article analyzes the trajectory of institutional change in the industrial relations systems of advanced capitalist societies, with a focus on Western Europe. In contrast to current comparative political economy scholarship, which emphasizes the resilience of national institutions to common challenges and trends, it argues that despite a surface resilience of distinct national sets, all countries (...)
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  • Logical Properties of Foundational Mereogeometrical Relations in Bio-Ontologies.Thomas Bittner - 2009 - Applied ontology 4 (2):109-138.
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  • L'identità diacronica fra ontologia e metafisica.Francesco Franda - 2014 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia Analitica Junior 2 (5):66-81.
    In this paper, I tackle the problem of diachronic identity. Far from providing a criterion for identity over time, the aim of this work is to understand if this issue pertains to ontology, conceived as that part of philosophy that tries to answer the question about what entities exist, or metaphysics, conceived as that part of philosophy that tries to explain, of those entities, what they are. On the face of it, only metaphysics has the task to solve this problem, (...)
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  • Vague Size Predicates.Thomas Bittner - 2011 - Applied ontology 6 (4):317-343.
  • The Worseness of Nonexistence.Theron Pummer - 2019 - In Espen Gamlund and Carl Tollef Solberg (ed.), Saving People from the Harm of Death. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 215-228.
    Most believe that it is worse for a person to die than to continue to exist with a good life. At the same time, many believe that it is not worse for a merely possible person never to exist than to exist with a good life. I argue that if the underlying properties that make us the sort of thing we essentially are can come in small degrees, then to maintain this commonly-held pair of beliefs we will have to embrace (...)
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  • Reference and Modality: A Theory of Intensions.Alik Pelman - 2007 - Dissertation, University of London, UCL
    The study of reference often leads to addressing fundamental issues in semantics, metaphysics and epistemology; this suggests that reference is closely linked to the three realms. The overall purpose of this study is to elucidate the structure of some of these links, through a close examination of the “mechanism” of reference. As in many other enquiries, considering the possible (i.e., the modal,) in addition to the actual proves very helpful in clarifying and explicating insights. The reference of a term with (...)
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  • Time's Arrow in a Quantum Universe: On the Status of Statistical Mechanical Probabilities.Eddy Keming Chen - 2020 - In Valia Allori (ed.), Statistical Mechanics and Scientific Explanation: Determinism, Indeterminism and Laws of Nature. World Scientific. pp. 479–515.
    In a quantum universe with a strong arrow of time, it is standard to postulate that the initial wave function started in a particular macrostate---the special low-entropy macrostate selected by the Past Hypothesis. Moreover, there is an additional postulate about statistical mechanical probabilities according to which the initial wave function is a ''typical'' choice in the macrostate. Together, they support a probabilistic version of the Second Law of Thermodynamics: typical initial wave functions will increase in entropy. Hence, there are two (...)
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  • A Unified Theory of Granularity, Vagueness and Approximation.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2001 - In COSIT Workshop on Spatial Vagueness, Uncertainty and Granularity. pp. 39.
    Abstract: We propose a view of vagueness as a semantic property of names and predicates. All entities are crisp, on this semantic view, but there are, for each vague name, multiple portions of reality that are equally good candidates for being its referent, and, for each vague predicate, multiple classes of objects that are equally good candidates for being its extension. We provide a new formulation of these ideas in terms of a theory of granular partitions. We show that this (...)
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  • Ordinary Language Semantics: The Contribution of Brentano and Marty.Hamid Taieb - 2020 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 28 (4):777-796.
    This paper examines the account of ordinary language semantics developed by Franz Brentano and his pupil Anton Marty. Long before the interest in ordinary language in the analytic tradition, Brentanian philosophers were exploring our everyday use of words, as opposed to the scientific use of language. Brentano and Marty were especially interested in the semantics of (common) names in ordinary language. They claimed that these names are vague, and that this is due to the structure of the concepts that constitute (...)
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  • Infinite Graphs in Systematic Biology, with an Application to the Species Problem.Samuel A. Alexander - 2013 - Acta Biotheoretica 61 (2):181--201.
    We argue that C. Darwin and more recently W. Hennig worked at times under the simplifying assumption of an eternal biosphere. So motivated, we explicitly consider the consequences which follow mathematically from this assumption, and the infinite graphs it leads to. This assumption admits certain clusters of organisms which have some ideal theoretical properties of species, shining some light onto the species problem. We prove a dualization of a law of T.A. Knight and C. Darwin, and sketch a decomposition result (...)
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  • Sketching the Alternative to Brain Death: Dying Through Organ Donation.Ralf J. Jox - 2014 - American Journal of Bioethics 14 (8):37-39.
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  • To Buy or Not to Buy? The Moral Relevance of the Individual Demand in Everyday Purchase Situations.Rebecca Ullrich & Bernward Gesang - 2020 - Food Ethics 5 (1-2).
    The question of the moral relevance of the individual demand is fundamental to many purchase decisions of daily consumer life. Can a single purchase make a difference for the better or worse? Each individual consumer could argue that companies are unlikely to adjust their production due to one single item more or less being sold. He might therefore decide not to change his consumption behavior but instead to rely on the effort of others, a pattern commonly referred to as collective (...)
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  • A Solution to the Sorites.Marcia R. Pinheiro - 2006 - Semiotica 2006 (160):307-326.
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  • The Ambiguity of Value.Jarkko Erikshammar, Anders Björnfot & Viktor Gardelli - unknown
    'Value' is a central concept in all of the principles and methods applied in Lean Construction, but it is rather difficult to provide a precise definition of the term. The problem lies in the word value itself: its ambiguity and vagueness make theorization difficult. This paper investigates the philosophical concept of value from a Lean Construction perspective. Several elements that contribute to value are considered, including objective elements such as waste reduction, quality, price and functionality, and more subjective elements such (...)
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  • Looks Non-Transitive!Philippe Chuard & Richard Corry - manuscript
    Suppose you are presented with three red objects. You are then asked to take a careful look at each possible pair of objects, and to decide whether or not their members look chromatically the same. You carry out the instructions thoroughly, and the following propositions sum up the results of your empirical investigation: <blockquote> i. red object #1 looks the same in colour as red object #2. </blockquote> ii. red object #2 looks the same in colour as red object #3.
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  • Commentary on Schwed.Lawrence Powers - unknown
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  • A Dichotomic Analysis of the Surprise Examination Paradox.Paul Franceschi - 2002
    This paper presents a dichotomic analysis of the surprise examination paradox. In section 1, I analyse the surprise notion in detail. I introduce then in section 2, the distinction between a monist and dichotomic analysis of the paradox. I also present there a dichotomy leading to distinguish two basically and structurally different versions of the paradox, respectively based on a conjoint and a disjoint definition of the surprise. In section 3, I describe the solution to SEP corresponding to the conjoint (...)
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  • Healthcare Rationing Cutoffs and Sorites Indeterminacy.Philip M. Rosoff - 2019 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 44 (4):479-506.
    Rationing is an unavoidable mechanism for reining in healthcare costs. It entails establishing cutoff points that distinguish between what is and is not offered or available to patients. When the resource to be distributed is defined by vague and indeterminate terms such as “beneficial,” “effective,” or even “futile,” the ability to draw meaningful boundary lines that are both ethically and medically sound is problematic. In this article, I draw a parallel between the challenges posed by this problem and the ancient (...)
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  • The Liar Paradox as a Reductio Ad Absurdum Argument.Menashe Schwed - unknown
    This presentation traces an historical root of the reductio ad absurdum mode of argumentation in Greek philosophy. I propose a new understanding of the liar paradox as an instance of this mode of argumentation. I show that the paradox was crea ted as part of a refutational argument in the controversy over the justification of realism and the realists concepts of truth and certainty. The paradox was part of the dialectical style of Greek scepticism, which was characterized, inter alia, by (...)
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