Synthese 194 (7):2645-2666 (2017)

Authors
Giovanni Merlo
University of Geneva
Abstract
Kilimanjaro is an example of what some philosophers would call a ‘vague object’: it is only roughly 5895 m tall, its weight is not precise and its boundaries are fuzzy because some particles are neither determinately part of it nor determinately not part of it. It has been suggested that this vagueness arises as a result of semantic indecision: it is because we didn’t make up our mind what the expression “Kilimanjaro” applies to that we can truthfully say such things as “It is indeterminate whether this particle is part of Kilimanjaro”. After reviewing some of the limitations of this approach, I will propose an alternative account, based on a new semantic relation—multiple reference—capable of holding in a one-many pattern between a term and several objects in the domain. I will explain how multiple reference works, what differentiates it from plural reference and how it might be used to accommodate at least some aspects of our ordinary discourse about vague objects
Keywords Vague objects  Supervaluationism  Plural reference  Multiple reference
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1007/s11229-016-1075-3
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References found in this work BETA

New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Vagueness, Truth and Logic.Kit Fine - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):265-300.
Plural Logic.Alex Oliver & Timothy John Smiley - 2013 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press UK.
Can There Be Vague Objects?Gareth Evans - 1978 - Analysis 38 (4):208.

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Citations of this work BETA

Turning Aboutness About.Alexander Sandgren - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (1):136-155.
Thinking About Many.James Openshaw - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2863-2882.
Thought and Talk in a Generous World.Alexander Sandgren - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
Inheriting the World.Michel-Antoine Xhignesse - 2020 - Journal of Applied Logics 7 (2):163-70.

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