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

Authors
Otávio Bueno
University of Miami
Mark Colyvan
University of Sydney
Abstract
We argue that standard definitions of ‘vagueness’ prejudice the question of how best to deal with the phenomenon of vagueness. In particular, the usual understanding of ‘vagueness’ in terms of borderline cases, where the latter are thought of as truth-value gaps, begs the question against the subvaluational approach. According to this latter approach, borderline cases are inconsistent (i.e., glutty not gappy). We suggest that a definition of ‘vagueness’ should be general enough to accommodate any genuine contender in the debate over how to best deal with the sorites paradox. Moreover, a definition of ‘vagueness’ must be able to accommodate the variety of forms sorites arguments can take. These include numerical, total-ordered sorites arguments, discrete versions, continuous versions, as well as others without any obvious metric structure at all. After considering the shortcomings of various definitions of ‘vagueness’, we propose a very general non-question-begging definition.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9329.2011.00513.x
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References found in this work BETA

Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - London and New York: Routledge.
Blindspots.Roy A. Sorensen - 1988 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Theories of Vagueness.Rosanna Keefe - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Vagueness and Degrees of Truth.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2008 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

View all 31 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Vague Comparisons.Cristian Constantinescu - 2016 - Ratio 29 (4):357-377.
Topics in Population Ethics.Teruji Thomas - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
Sorites Paradox.Dominic Hyde - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Vague Judgment: A Probabilistic Account.Paul Égré - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3837-3865.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

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