Synthese 174 (1):5 - 46 (2010)

Haim Gaifman
Columbia University
The goal of this paper is a comprehensive analysis of basic reasoning patterns that are characteristic of vague predicates. The analysis leads to rigorous reconstructions of the phenomena within formal systems. Two basic features are dealt with. One is tolerance: the insensitivity of predicates to small changes in the objects of predication (a one-increment of a walking distance is a walking distance). The other is the existence of borderline cases. The paper shows why these should be treated as different, though related phenomena. Tolerance is formally reconstructed within a proposed framework of contextual logic, leading to a solution of the Sorites paradox. Borderline-vagueness is reconstructed using certain modality operators; the set-up provides an analysis of higher order vagueness and a derivation of scales of degrees for the property in question.
Keywords Vagueness  Tolerance  Contextual logic  Semantic indeterminacy  Sorites paradox  Higher order vagueness  Degrees
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-009-9683-9
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

Vagueness in Context.Stewart Shapiro - 2006 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press UK.
Vagueness: A Conceptual Spaces Approach.Igor Douven, Lieven Decock, Richard Dietz & Paul Égré - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (1):137-160.
The Possibility of Vagueness.Kit Fine - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3699-3725.
The Impossibility of Vagueness.Kit Fine - 2008 - Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):111-136.

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