The sorites paradox and higher-order vagueness

Synthese 85 (3):417-474 (1990)
Abstract
One thousand stones, suitably arranged, might form a heap. If we remove a single stone from a heap of stones we still have a heap; at no point will the removal of just one stone make sufficient difference to transform a heap into something which is not a heap. But, if this is so, we still have a heap, even when we have removed the last stone composing our original structure. So runs the Sorites paradox. Similar paradoxes can be constructed with any predicate which, like 'heap', displays borderline vagueness. Although I have frequently heard it said that there is no completely credible and satisfying dissolution of the paradoxes of the Sorites family; and although there is no possible approach to dissolution which has not been at least partially explored, philosophers continue glibly to use vague language as though it were entirely unproblematic. Since no argument has ever been produced which would justify our ignoring the para~doxes, this situation is extremely unsatisfactory
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    References found in this work BETA
    Richmond Campbell (1974). The Sorites Paradox. Philosophical Studies 26 (3-4):175 - 191.
    James Cargile (1969). The Sorites Paradox. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 20 (3):193-202.

    View all 26 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    J. A. Burgess (2008). When is Circularity in Definitions Benign? Philosophical Quarterly 58 (231):214–233.
    Patrick Greenough (2005). Contextualism About Vagueness and Higher-Order Vagueness. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 79 (1):167–190.
    David Barnett (2011). Does Vagueness Exclude Knowledge? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):22 - 45.
    David Barnett (2013). Vague Entailment. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2):325 - 335.
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