Vague Objects with Sharp Boundaries

Ratio 27 (1):29-39 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX


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 are vague, is a claim that stems both from common sense intuitions as well as from various types of ontologies of ordinary objects. This puts then pressure on theories of vagueness to account for the vague nature of ordinary objects – but, as we shall see, all theories of vagueness have to accept the existence of sharp thresholds. This is obvious in the case of epistemicism, and it is a well-known defect of supervaluationism, but as we will see friends of metaphysical vagueness do have to endorse the existence of sharp thresholds in their theory as well. Consequently, there are reasons for dissatisfaction with these accounts, since they do not seem to be able to do the job we asked them to do



External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Transvaluationism about vagueness: A progress report.Terry Horgan - 2010 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (1):67-94.
Introduction: Vagueness and Ontology.Geert Keil - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (2):149-164.
Vagueness : a statistical epistemicist approach.Jiri Benovsky - 2011 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy (3):97-112.
Vagueness and Existence.Katherine Hawley - 2002 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 102 (1):125-140.
Vagueness as closeness.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (2):157 – 183.
Temporal externalism and epistemic theories of vagueness.Henry Jackman - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 117 (1-2):79-94.


Added to PP

863 (#16,247)

6 months
97 (#40,799)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jiri Benovsky
University of Fribourg

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Material beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Material Beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 15 references / Add more references