Vagueness and Margin for Error Principles

Timothy Williamson’s potentially most important contribution to epistemicism about vagueness lies in his arguments for the basic epistemicist claim that the alleged cut-off points of vague predicates are not knowable. His arguments for this are based on so-called ‘margin for error principles’. This paper argues that these principles fail to provide a good argument for the basic claim. Williamson has offered at least two kinds of margin for error principles applicable to vague predicates. A certain fallacy of equivocation (on the meaning of ‘knowable’) seems to underlie his justification for both kinds of principles. Besides, the margin for error principles of the first kind can be used in the derivation of unacceptable consequences, while the margin for error principles of the second kind can be shown to be compatible with the falsity of epistemicism, under a number of assumptions acceptable to the epistemicist.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2002.tb00145.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Anna Mahtani (2004). The Instability of Vague Terms. Philosophical Quarterly 54 (217):570–576.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

15 ( #175,574 of 1,727,073 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #118,705 of 1,727,073 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.