Worldly Indeterminacy: A Rough Guide

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (Issue in Honour of David Lewis):185-198 (2004)
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This paper defends the idea that there might be vagueness or indeterminacy in the world itself---as opposed to merely in our representations of the world---against the charges of incoherence and unintelligibility. First we consider the idea that the world might contain vague *properties and relations*; we show that this idea is already implied by certain well-understood views concerning the semantics of vague predicates (most notably the fuzzy view). Next we consider the idea that the world might contain vague *objects*; we argue that an object is indeterminate in a certain respect (colour, size, etc.) just in case it is a borderline case of a maximally specific colour (size, etc.) property. Finally we consider the idea that the *world as a whole* might be indeterminate; we argue that the world is indeterminate just in case it lacks a determinate division into determinate objects.



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Author Profiles

Nicholas J. J. Smith
University of Sydney
Gideon Rosen
Princeton University

Citations of this work

A Theory of Metaphysical Indeterminacy.Elizabeth Barnes & J. Robert G. Williams - 2011 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Volume 6. Oxford University Press UK. pp. 103-148.
Quantum metaphysical indeterminacy.Claudio Calosi & Jessica Wilson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (10):2599–2627.
Quantum indeterminacy.Claudio Calosi & Cristian Mariani - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (4):e12731.
Ground by Law.Gideon Rosen - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):279-301.

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