Epistemicism about vagueness and meta-linguistic safety

Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):277-304 (2008)
Abstract
The paper challenges Williamson’s safety based explanation for why we cannot know the cut-off point of vague expressions. We assume throughout (most of) the paper that Williamson is correct in saying that vague expressions have sharp cut-off points, but we argue that Williamson’s explanation for why we do not and cannot know these cut-off points is unsatisfactory. In sect 2 we present Williamson's position in some detail. In particular, we note that Williamson's explanation relies on taking a particular safety principle ('Meta-linguistic belief safety' or 'MBS') as a necessary condition on knowledge. In section 3, we show that even if MBS were a necessary condition on knowledge, that would not be sufficient to show that we cannot know the cut-off points of vague expressions. In section 4, we present our main case against Williamson's explanation: we argue that MBS is not a necessary condition on knowledge, by presenting a series of cases where one's belief violates MBS but nevertheless constitutes knowledge. In section 5, we present and respond to an objection to our view. And in section 6, we briefly discuss the possible directions a theory of vagueness can take, if our objection to Williamson's theory is taken on board.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Adam Sennet (2012). Semantic Plasticity and Epistemicism. Philosophical Studies 161 (2):273-285.
    Similar books and articles
    Eugene Mills (2004). Williamson on Vagueness and Context-Dependence. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):635–641.
    Brian Weatherson (2004). Luminous Margins. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (3):373 – 383.
    Mario G'Omez-Torrente (2002). Vagueness and Margin for Error Principles. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (1):107-125.
    Mario Gómez-Torrente (2002). Vagueness and Margin for Error Principles. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (1):107-125.
    Juan Comesaña (2005). Unsafe Knowledge. Synthese 146 (3):395 - 404.
    Adam Sennet (2012). Semantic Plasticity and Epistemicism. Philosophical Studies 161 (2):273-285.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    79 ( #13,683 of 1,088,424 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,424 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


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