Moral Vagueness as Semantic Vagueness

Ethics 129 (4):684-705 (2019)
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Abstract

Does moral vagueness require ontic vagueness? A central challenge for nonontic treatments of moral vagueness arises from the referential stability of moral terms across small changes in how they are applied: if moral vagueness is not ontic vagueness, it’s hard to explain this referential stability. Pointing to this challenge, Miriam Schoenfield has argued that moral vagueness is ontic vagueness, at least for a moral realist. I disagree. I argue that a moral realist can use a conceptual role semantics for moral terms to give a purely semantic treatment of moral vagueness.

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Rohan Sud
Virginia Tech

Citations of this work

On Scepticism About Ought Simpliciter.James L. D. Brown - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
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References found in this work

What good are counterexamples?Brian Weatherson - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 115 (1):1-31.
Normative Reference Magnets.J. Robert G. Williams - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (1):41-71.
Conceptual role semantics for moral terms.Ralph Wedgwood - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (1):1-30.
Vague Value.Tom Dougherty - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):352-372.

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