Vagueness at every order: the prospects of denying B

A number of arguments purport to show that vague properties determine sharp boundaries at higher orders. That is, although we may countenance vagueness concerning the location of boundaries for vague predicates, every predicate can instead be associated with precise knowable cut-off points deriving from precision in their higher order boundaries. I argue that this conclusion is indeed paradoxical, and identify the assumption responsible for the paradox as the Brouwerian principle B for vagueness: that if p then it's completely determinate that either it's vague whether p, or p. Other paradoxes which do not appear to turn on B turn instead on some subtle issues concerning the relation between assertion, belief and higher order vagueness. In this paper a B-free picture of assertion, knowledge and logic is outlined which is completely free of higher order precision. A class of realistic models containing counterexamples to B and a number of weakenings of B are introduced and its logic is shown to support vagueness at every order. A novel framework for thinking about the semantic apparatus in the presence of metalinguistic vagueness is also developed. In this framework the vague metatheoretic vocabulary is part of the object language and can readily be applied to itself.
Keywords Higher order vagueness  vagueness  Brouwers principle
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