Vagueness and Second-Level Indeterminacy
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic. OUP Oxford (2010)
My theme here will be vagueness. But first recall Quine’s arguments for the indeterminacy of translation and the inscrutability of reference. (I will presume these arguments to be familiar.) If Quine is right, then there are radically different acceptable assignments of semantic values to the expressions of any language: different assignments of semantic values that for all that is determined by whatever it is that determines semantic value are all acceptable, and all equally good. Quine even argued that the indeterminacy is so radical that some sentences are true under some acceptable assignments but false under others.1 Still, Quine does not allow intermediate truth-values or truthvalue gaps. (As I will put it, avoiding the disjunctive formulation: does not allow that there are sentences which are neuter.) Quine holds on to classical logic and bivalence and requires each acceptable assignment to be classical and bivalent.2.
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