Vagueness without context change

Mind 116 (462):275-292 (2007)
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In this paper I offer a critique of the recent popular strategy of giving a contextualist account of vagueness. Such accounts maintain that truth-values of vague sentences can change with changes of context induced by confronting different entities (e.g. different pairs through a sorites series). I claim that appealing to context does not help in solving the sorites paradox, nor does it give us new insights into vagueness per se. Furthermore, the contextual variation to which the contextualist is committed is problematic in various ways. For example, it yields the consequence that much of our everyday (non-soritical) reasoning is fallacious, and it renders us ignorant of what we and others have said.



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Rosanna Keefe
University of Sheffield

Citations of this work

Vagueness in Context.Stewart Shapiro - 2006 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press UK.
Sorites paradox.Dominic Hyde - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Contextualist Theories of Vagueness.Jonas Åkerman - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (7):470-480.
Sorites Paradox.Dominic Hyde & Diana Raffman - 2012 - In Ed Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Hold the context fixed, vagueness still remains.Jonas Åkerman & Patrick Greenough - 2010 - In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and clouds: vagueness, its nature, and its logic. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 275--88.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):353-356.
Scorekeeping in a language game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
Scorekeeping in a Language Game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (3):339.
Understanding Truth.Scott Soames - 1998 - Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press USA.

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