David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Sebastiano Moruzzi & Richard Dietz (eds.), Cuts and Clouds. Oxford University Press 275--88 (2010)
Contextualism about vagueness (hereafter ‘Contextualism’) is the view that vagueness consists in a particular species of context-sensitivity and that properly accommodating this fact into our semantic theory will yield a plausible solution to the sorites paradox., But Contextualism, as many commentators have noted, faces the following immediate objection: if we hold the context fixed, vagueness still remains, therefore vagueness is not a species of context-sensitivity. Call this ‘the simple objection’. Absent a convincing reply to the simple objection, Contextualism is in very bad shape. Oddly enough, defenders of Contextualism have said very little in reply. Proponents of the objection have tended to assume that this is because no reply is in the offing—the simple objection is taken to be unassailable. In this short paper, we sketch two replies to the simple objection which result in two very different kinds of Contextualism: Epistemicist Contextualism and Radical Contextualism. With these two theories in hand, the simple objection loses its force.
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Ivan Hu (2015). Epistemicism, Paradox, and Conditional Obligation. Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2123-2139.
Agustín Rayo (2013). A Plea for Semantic Localism. Noûs 47 (4):647-679.
Minyao Huang (2013). Tolerance Effect in Categorisation with Vague Predicates. Pragmatics and Cognition 21 (2):340-358.
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