Results for 'Vagueness'

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  1. Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - London and New York: Routledge.
    Vagueness provides the first comprehensive examination of a topic of increasing importance in metaphysics and the philosophy of logic and language. Timothy Williamson traces the history of this philosophical problem from discussions of the heap paradox in classical Greece to modern formal approaches such as fuzzy logic. He illustrates the problems with views which have taken the position that standard logic and formal semantics do not apply to vague language, and defends the controversial realistic view that vagueness is (...)
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  2. Vagueness and the Laws of Metaphysics.Ryan Wasserman - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (1):66-89.
    This is a paper about the nature of metaphysical laws and their relation to the phenomenon of vagueness. Metaphysical laws are introduced as analogous to natural laws, and metaphysical indeterminism is modeled on causal indeterminacy. This kind of indeterminacy is then put to work in developing a novel theory of vagueness and a solution to the sorites paradox.
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  3. Against Vague and Unnatural Existence: Reply to Liebesman and Eklund.Theodore Sider - 2009 - Noûs 43 (3):557 - 567.
    In "Sider on Existence" (Noužs, 2007), David Liebesman and Matti Eklund argue that my "indeterminacy argument", according to which quantifiers are never vague, clashes with my "naturalness argument", according to which quantifiers "carve at the joints". There is, I argue, no outright inconsistency. But Liebesman and Eklund have shown that my arguments are not as independent as it may have appeared. The best defense of the indeterminacy argument is via the naturalness argument.
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  4.  54
    Vagueness as Arbitrariness: Outline of a Theory of Vagueness.Sagid Salles - 2021 - Springer.
    This book proposes a new solution to the problem of vagueness. There are several different ways of addressing this problem and no clear agreement on which one is correct. The author proposes that it should be understood as the problem of explaining vague predicates in a way that systematizes six intuitions about the phenomenon and satisfies three criteria of adequacy for an ideal theory of vagueness. The third criterion, which is called the “criterion of precisification”, is the most (...)
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  5. Does Vagueness Exclude Knowledge?David Barnett - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):22 - 45.
    On two standard views of vagueness, vagueness as to whether Harry is bald entails that nobody knows whether Harry is bald—either because vagueness is a type of missing truth, and so there is nothing to know, or because vagueness is a type of ignorance, and so even though there is a truth of the matter, nobody can know what that truth is. Vagueness as to whether Harry is bald does entail that nobody clearly knows that (...)
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  6. Vagueness and Degrees of Truth.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2008 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    In VAGUENESS AND DEGREES OF TRUTH, Nicholas Smith develops a new theory of vagueness: fuzzy plurivaluationism. -/- A predicate is said to be VAGUE if there is no sharply defined boundary between the things to which it applies and the things to which it does not apply. For example, 'heavy' is vague in a way that 'weighs over 20 kilograms' is not. A great many predicates -- both in everyday talk, and in a wide array of theoretical vocabularies, (...)
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  7. Vagueness and Grammar: The Semantics of Relative and Absolute Gradable Adjectives.Christopher Kennedy - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (1):1 - 45.
    This paper investigates the way that linguistic expressions influence vagueness, focusing on the interpretation of the positive (unmarked) form of gradable adjectives. I begin by developing a semantic analysis of the positive form of ‘relative’ gradable adjectives, expanding on previous proposals by further motivating a semantic basis for vagueness and by precisely identifying and characterizing the division of labor between the compositional and contextual aspects of its interpretation. I then introduce a challenge to the analysis from the class (...)
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  8. Vagueness in Context.Stewart Shapiro - 2006 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Stewart Shapiro's ambition in Vagueness in Context is to develop a comprehensive account of the meaning, function, and logic of vague terms in an idealized version of a natural language like English. It is a commonplace that the extensions of vague terms vary according to their context: a person can be tall with respect to male accountants and not tall (even short) with respect to professional basketball players. The key feature of Shapiro's account is that the extensions of vague (...)
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  9. The Vagueness Argument for Mereological Universalism.Donald Smith - 2006 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (3):357–368.
    In this paper, I critically discuss one of the more influential arguments for mereological universalism, what I will call ‘the Vagueness Argument’. I argue that a premise of the Vagueness Argument is not well supported and that there are at least two good reasons for thinking that the premise in question is false.
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  10. Vagueness: A Reader.Rosanna Keefe & Peter Smith (eds.) - 1996 - MIT Press.
    Vagueness is currently the subject of vigorous debate in the philosophy of logic and language. Vague terms -- such as 'tall', 'red', 'bald', and 'tadpole' -- have borderline cases ; and they lack well-defined extensions. The phenomenon of vagueness poses a fundamental challenge to classical logic and semantics, which assumes that propositions are either true or false and that extensions are determinate.This anthology collects for the first time the most important papers in the field. After a substantial introduction (...)
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  11. Vagueness and Contradiction.Roy A. Sorensen - 2001 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Roy Sorenson offers a unique exploration of an ancient problem: vagueness. Did Buddha become a fat man in one second? Is there a tallest short giraffe? According to Sorenson's epistemicist approach, the answers are yes! Although vagueness abounds in the way the world is divided, Sorenson argues that the divisions are sharp; yet we often do not know where they are. Written in Sorenson'e usual inventive and amusing style, this book offers original insight on language and logic, the (...)
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  12. Vagueness, Truth and Logic.Kit Fine - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):265-300.
    This paper deals with the truth-Conditions and the logic for vague languages. The use of supervaluations and of classical logic is defended; and other approaches are criticized. The truth-Conditions are extended to a language that contains a definitely-Operator and that is subject to higher order vagueness.
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  13.  72
    Vague Singulars, Semantic Indecision, and the Metaphysics of Persons.Donald P. Smith - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (3):569-585.
    Composite materialism, as I will understand it, is the view that human persons are composite material objects. This paper develops and investigates an argument, The Vague Singulars Argument, for the falsity of composite materialism. We shall see that cogent or not, the Vague Singulars Argument has philosophically significant ramifications.
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  14.  57
    Vagueness.Loretta Torrago - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (4):637.
    Consider an object or property a and the predicate F. Then a is vague if there are questions of the form: Is a F? that have no yes-or-no answers. In brief, vague properties and kinds have borderline instances and composite objects have borderline constituents. I'll use the expression "borderline cases" as a covering term for both. ;Having borderline cases is compatible with precision so long as every case is either borderline F, determinately F or determinately not F. Thus, in addition (...)
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  15. Has Vagueness Really No Function in Law?David Lanius - 2013 - Sektionsbeiträge des Achten Internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft Für Analytische Philosophie E.V.
    When the United States Supreme Court used the expression “with all deliberate speed” in the case Brown v. Board of Education, it did so presumably because of its vagueness. Many jurists, economists, linguists, and philosophers accordingly assume that vagueness can be strategically used to one’s advantage. Roy Sorensen has cast doubt on this assumption by strictly differentiating between vagueness and generality. Indeed, most arguments for the value of vagueness go through only when vagueness is confused (...)
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  16.  8
    Vagueness and Kataleptic Impressions.Katja Maria Vogt - 2022 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 96 (1):165-183.
    The Stoics’ theory of kataleptic impressions looks different once we attend to their analysis of the Sorites paradox. In defending this view, I reject the long-standing assumption that the Stoics develop their theory by focusing on sensory impressions. The Stoic approach to vagueness shows, for example, that non-sensory impressions can be seemingly indistinguishable by belonging to a series. It also draws attention to an understudied dimension of Stoic theory: in aiming to assent only to kataleptic impressions, one aims to (...)
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  17. Moral Vagueness Is Ontic Vagueness.Miriam Schoenfield - 2016 - Ethics 126 (2):257-282.
    The aim of this essay is to argue that, if a robust form of moral realism is true, then moral vagueness is ontic vagueness. The argument is by elimination: I show that neither semantic nor epistemic approaches to moral vagueness are satisfactory.
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    Adjectival Vagueness in a Bayesian Model of Interpretation.Daniel Lassiter & Noah D. Goodman - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3801-3836.
    We derive a probabilistic account of the vagueness and context-sensitivity of scalar adjectives from a Bayesian approach to communication and interpretation. We describe an iterated-reasoning architecture for pragmatic interpretation and illustrate it with a simple scalar implicature example. We then show how to enrich the apparatus to handle pragmatic reasoning about the values of free variables, explore its predictions about the interpretation of scalar adjectives, and show how this model implements Edgington’s Vagueness: a reader, 1997) account of the (...)
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  19.  8
    Vagueness and Thought.Andrew Bacon - 2018 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Vagueness is the study of concepts that admit borderline cases. The epistemology of vagueness concerns attitudes we should have towards propositions we know to be borderline. On this basis Andrew Bacon develops a new theory of vagueness in which vagueness is fundamentally a property of propositions, explicated in terms of its role in thought.
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  20.  39
    Vagueness in Context.Stewart Shapiro - 2006 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press UK.
    Stewart Shapiro's aim in Vagueness in Context is to develop both a philosophical and a formal, model-theoretic account of the meaning, function, and logic of vague terms in an idealized version of a natural language like English. It is a commonplace that the extensions of vague terms vary with such contextual factors as the comparison class and paradigm cases. A person can be tall with respect to male accountants and not tall with respect to professional basketball players. The main (...)
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  21. Vagueness and Existence.Katherine Hawley - 2002 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 102 (1):125-140.
    Vague existence can seem like the worst kind of vagueness in the world, or seem to be an entirely unintelligible notion. This bad reputation is based upon the rumour that if there is vague existence then there are non-existent objects. But the rumour is false: the modest brand of vague existence entailed by certain metaphysical theories of composition does not deserve its bad reputation.
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  22. Vagueness, Tolerance and Contextual Logic.Haim Gaifman - 2010 - Synthese 174 (1):5 - 46.
    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 (...)
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  23. Ontic Vagueness: A Guide for the Perplexed.Elizabeth Barnes - 2010 - Noûs 44 (4):601-627.
    In this paper I develop a framework for understanding ontic vagueness. The project of the paper is two-fold. I first outline a definitional account of ontic vagueness – one that I think is an improvement on previous attempts because it remains neutral on other, independent metaphysical issues. I then develop one potential manifestation of that basic definitional structure. This is a more robust (and much less neutral) account which gives a fully classical explication of ontic vagueness via (...)
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  24. Vague Credence.Aidan Lyon - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3931-3954.
    It is natural to think of precise probabilities as being special cases of imprecise probabilities, the special case being when one’s lower and upper probabilities are equal. I argue, however, that it is better to think of the two models as representing two different aspects of our credences, which are often vague to some degree. I show that by combining the two models into one model, and understanding that model as a model of vague credence, a natural interpretation arises that (...)
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  25.  79
    Vague Existence.Alessandro Torza - 2017 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 10.
    Ted Sider has famously argued that existence, in the unrestricted sense of ontology, cannot be vague, as long as vagueness is modeled by means of precisifications. The first section of Chapter 9 exposes some controversial assumptions underlying Sider’s alleged reductio of vague existence. The upshot of the discussion is that, although existence cannot be vague, it can be super-vague, i.e. higher-order vague, for all orders. The second section develops and defends a novel framework, dubbed negative supervaluationary semantics, which makes (...)
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  26. Vagueness: A Conceptual Spaces Approach.Igor Douven, Lieven Decock, Richard Dietz & Paul Égré - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (1):137-160.
    The conceptual spaces approach has recently emerged as a novel account of concepts. Its guiding idea is that concepts can be represented geometrically, by means of metrical spaces. While it is generally recognized that many of our concepts are vague, the question of how to model vagueness in the conceptual spaces approach has not been addressed so far, even though the answer is far from straightforward. The present paper aims to fill this lacuna.
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  27. Moral Vagueness: A Dilemma for Non-Naturalism.Cristian Constantinescu - 2014 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume 9. Oxford University Press. pp. 152-185.
    In this paper I explore the implications of moral vagueness (viz., the vagueness of moral predicates) for non-naturalist metaethical theories like those recently championed by Shafer-Landau, Parfit, and others. I characterise non-naturalism in terms of its commitment to 7 theses: Cognitivism, Correspondence, Atomism, Objectivism, Supervenience, Non-reductivism, and Rationalism. I start by offering a number of reasons for thinking that moral predicates are vague in the same way in which ‘red’, ‘tall’, and ‘heap’ are said to be. I then (...)
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  28. Vague identity: Evans misunderstood.David K. Lewis - 1988 - Analysis 48 (3):128.
    In his note "can there be vague objects?" ("analysis", 1978), Gareth evans presents a purported proof that there can be no vague identity statements. Some readers think that evans endorses the proof and its false conclusion. Not so. His point is that those who put vagueness in the world, Rather than in language, Will have no way to fault the proof and no way to escape the false conclusion.
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  29. Vague Projects and the Puzzle of the Self-Torturer.Sergio Tenenbaum & Diana Raffman - 2012 - Ethics 123 (1):86-112.
    In this paper we advance a new solution to Quinn’s puzzle of the self-torturer. The solution falls directly out of an application of the principle of instrumental reasoning to what we call “vague projects”, i.e., projects whose completion does not occur at any particular or definite point or moment. The resulting treatment of the puzzle extends our understanding of instrumental rationality to projects and ends that cannot be accommodated by orthodox theories of rational choice.
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  30. Vague Composition Without Vague Existence.Chad Carmichael - 2011 - Noûs 45 (2):315-327.
    David Lewis (1986) criticizes moderate views of composition on the grounds that a restriction on composition must be vague, and vague composition leads, via a precisificational theory of vagueness, to an absurd vagueness of existence. I show how to resist this argument. Unlike the usual resistance, however, I do not jettison precisificational views of vagueness. Instead, I blur the connection between composition and existence that Lewis assumes. On the resulting view, in troublesome cases of vague composition, there (...)
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  31.  3
    Vague connectives.Paula Teijeiro - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    Most literature on vagueness deals with the phenomenon as applied to predicates. On the contrary, even the idea of vague connectives seems to be taken as an oxymoron. The goal of this article is to propose an understanding of vague logical connectives based on vague quantifiers. The main idea is that the phenomenon of vagueness translates to connectives in terms of the property of Abnormality. I also argue that Prior’s Tonk can, according to this approach, be considered a (...)
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  32. Theories of Vagueness.Rosanna Keefe - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
    Most expressions in natural language are vague. But what is the best semantic treatment of terms like 'heap', 'red' and 'child'? And what is the logic of arguments involving this kind of vague expression? These questions are receiving increasing philosophical attention, and in this book, first published in 2000, Rosanna Keefe explores the questions of what we should want from an account of vagueness and how we should assess rival theories. Her discussion ranges widely and comprehensively over the main (...)
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  33. Inclosures, Vagueness, and Self-Reference.Graham Priest - 2010 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 51 (1):69-84.
    In this paper, I start by showing that sorites paradoxes are inclosure paradoxes. That is, they fit the Inclosure Scheme which characterizes the paradoxes of self-reference. Given that sorites and self-referential paradoxes are of the same kind, they should have the same kind of solution. The rest of the paper investigates what a dialetheic solution to sorites paradoxes is like, connections with a dialetheic solution to the self-referential paradoxes, and related issues—especially so called "higher order" vagueness.
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  34. Ontic Vagueness and Metaphysical Indeterminacy.J. Robert G. Williams - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (4):763-788.
    Might it be that world itself, independently of what we know about it or how we represent it, is metaphysically indeterminate? This article tackles in turn a series of questions: In what sorts of cases might we posit metaphysical indeterminacy? What is it for a given case of indefiniteness to be 'metaphysical'? How does the phenomenon relate to 'ontic vagueness', the existence of 'vague objects', 'de re indeterminacy' and the like? How might the logic work? Are there reasons for (...)
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  35. Vagueness: Subvaluationism.Pablo Cobreros - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (5):472-485.
    Supervaluationism is a well known theory of vagueness. Subvaluationism is a less well known theory of vagueness. But these theories cannot be taken apart, for they are in a relation of duality that can be made precise. This paper provides an introduction to the subvaluationist theory of vagueness in connection to its dual, supervaluationism. A survey on the supervaluationist theory can be found in the Compass paper of Keefe (2008); our presentation of the theory in this paper (...)
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  36.  2
    Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (4):589-601.
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  37.  22
    Vagueness and the Evolution of Consciousness: Through the Looking Glass.Michael Tye - 2021 - Oxford University Press.
    The two dominant theories of consciousness argue it appeared in living beings either suddenly, or gradually. Both theories face problems. The solution is the realization that a foundational consciousness was always here, yet varying conscious states were not, and appeared gradually. Michael Tye explores this idea and the key questions it raises.
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  38. Vague, So Untrue.David Braun & Theodore Sider - 2007 - Noûs 41 (2):133 - 156.
    According to an old and attractive view, vagueness must be eliminated before semantic notions — truth, implication, and so on — may be applied. This view was accepted by Frege, but is rarely defended nowadays.1 This..
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  39. Vagueness: A Minimal Theory.Patrick Greenough - 2003 - Mind 112 (446):235-281.
    Vagueness is given a philosophically neutral definition in terms of an epistemic notion of tolerance. Such a notion is intended to capture the thesis that vague terms draw no known boundary across their range of signification and contrasts sharply with the semantic notion of tolerance given by Wright (1975, 1976). This allows us to distinguish vagueness from superficially similar but distinct phenomena such as semantic incompleteness. Two proofs are given which show that vagueness qua epistemic tolerance and (...)
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  40. Against Vague Existence.Theodore Sider - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):135 - 146.
    In my book Four-dimensionalism (chapter 4, section 9), I argued that fourdimensionalism – the doctrine of temporal parts – follows from several other premises, chief among which is the premise that existence is never vague. Kathrin Koslicki (preceding article) claims that the argument fails since its crucial premise is unsupported, and is dialectically inappropriate to assume in the context of arguing for four-dimensionalism. Since the relationship between four-dimensionalism and the non-vagueness of existence is not perfectly transparent, I think the (...)
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  41. The Vagueness Argument Against Abstract Artifacts.Daniel Z. Korman - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (1):57-71.
    Words, languages, symphonies, fictional characters, games, and recipes are plausibly abstract artifacts— entities that have no spatial location and that are deliberately brought into existence as a result of creative acts. Many accept that composition is unrestricted: for every plurality of material objects, there is a material object that is the sum of those objects. These two views may seem entirely unrelated. I will argue that the most influential argument against restricted composition—the vagueness argument—doubles as an argument that there (...)
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  42. Vagueness in Law.Timothy Endicott - 2000 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Vagueness leads to indeterminacies in the application of the law in many cases. This book responds to the challenges that those indeterminacies pose to a theory of law and adjudication. The book puts controversies in legal theory in a new light, using arguments in the philosophy of language to offer an explanation of the unclarities that arise in borderline cases for the application of vague expressions. But the author also argues that vagueness is a feature of law, and (...)
     
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  43. Vagueness.William P. Alston - 1967 - In Paul Edwards (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. New York: Macmillan. pp. 218--221.
  44. Vagueness, Logic and Use: Four Experimental Studies on Vagueness.Phil Serchuk, Ian Hargreaves & Richard Zach - 2011 - Mind and Language 26 (5):540-573.
    Although arguments for and against competing theories of vagueness often appeal to claims about the use of vague predicates by ordinary speakers, such claims are rarely tested. An exception is Bonini et al. (1999), who report empirical results on the use of vague predicates by Italian speakers, and take the results to count in favor of epistemicism. Yet several methodological difficulties mar their experiments; we outline these problems and devise revised experiments that do not show the same results. We (...)
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  45. Vague Comparisons.Cristian Constantinescu - 2016 - Ratio 29 (4):357-377.
    Some comparisons are hard. How should we think about such comparisons? According to John Broome, we should think about them in terms of vagueness. But the vagueness account has remained unpopular thus far. Here I try to bolster it by clarifying the notion of comparative vagueness that lies at its heart.
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  46.  17
    Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (4):921-928.
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  47. Vagueness and the Metaphysics of Consciousness.Michael V. Antony - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 128 (3):515-538.
    An argument is offered for this conditional: If our current concept conscious state is sharp rather than vague, and also correct , then common versions of familiar metaphysical theories of consciousness are false--?namely versions of the identity theory, functionalism, and dualism that appeal to complex physical or functional properties in identification, realization, or correlation. Reasons are also given for taking seriously the claim that our current concept conscious state is sharp. The paper ends by surveying the theoretical options left open (...)
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  48. Vagueness by Degrees.Dorothy Edgington - 1997 - In Rosanna Keefe & Peter Smith (eds.), Vagueness: A Reader. MIT Press.
    Book synopsis: Vagueness is currently the subject of vigorous debate in the philosophy of logic and language. Vague terms-such as "tall", "red", "bald", and "tadpole"—have borderline cases ; and they lack well-defined extensions. The phenomenon of vagueness poses a fundamental challenge to classical logic and semantics, which assumes that propositions are either true or false and that extensions are determinate. Another striking problem to which vagueness gives rise is the sorites paradox. If you remove one grain from (...)
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  49. Supervenience, Vagueness, and Determination.Brian P. McLaughlin - 1997 - Philosophical Perspectives 11:209-30.
    The paper is divided into two parts, each with subsections. In the first part, I shall discuss some matters that have been extensively examined by Kim, namely what the basic types of supervenience are and how they are pairwise logically related; in the course of this discussion, I shall distinguish a weak from a strong notion of global supervenience. In the second part, I shall examine supervenience in a context in which Kim has not: I shall attempt to solve a (...)
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  50. Vagueness as Closeness.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (2):157 – 183.
    This paper presents and defends a definition of vagueness, compares it favourably with alternative definitions, and draws out some consequences of accepting this definition for the project of offering a substantive theory of vagueness. The definition is roughly this: a predicate 'F' is vague just in case for any objects a and b, if a and b are very close in respects relevant to the possession of F, then 'Fa' and 'Fb' are very close in respect of truth. (...)
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