Vagueness and utility: The semantics of common nouns [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Linguistics and Philosophy 17 (6):521 - 535 (1994)
A utility-based approach to the understanding of vague predicates (VPs) is proposed. It is argued that assignment of truth values to propositions containing VPs entails unjustifiable assumptions of consensus; two models of VP semantics are criticized on this basis: (1) the super-truth theory of Kit Fine (1975), which requires an unlikely consensus on base points; (2) the fuzzy logic of Lotfi Zadeh (1975), on fuzzy truth values of sentences. Pragmatism is held to provide a key: successful behavior justifies a person's knowledge of the content of a VP. Instead of attempting to determine a consensus underlying successful communication, the utility of individual communications is held to rest on sufficient approximation of meanings between people. 3 Figures, 17 References. Adapted from the source document
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
David Lewis (1969). Convention: A Philosophical Study. Harvard University Press.
Edmund Gettier (1963). Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? Analysis 23 (6):121-123.
Michael Dummett (1975). Wang's Paradox. Synthese 30 (3-4):201--32.
L. A. Zadeh (1975). Fuzzy Logic and Approximate Reasoning. Synthese 30 (3-4):407-428.
Citations of this work BETA
Phil Serchuk, Ian Hargreaves & Richard Zach (2011). Vagueness, Logic and Use: Four Experimental Studies on Vagueness. Mind and Language 26 (5):540-573.
Andreas Blume & Oliver Board (2013). Intentional Vagueness. Erkenntnis 79 (S4):1-45.
Nicholas J. J. Smith (2015). Undead Argument: The Truth-Functionality Objection to Fuzzy Theories of Vagueness. Synthese:1-27.
Paul Égré & Anouk Barberousse (2014). Borel on the Heap. Erkenntnis 79 (S5):1043-1079.
Kris De Jaegher & Robert van Rooij (2013). Game-Theoretic Pragmatics Under Conflicting and Common Interests. Erkenntnis:1-52.
Similar books and articles
David Nicolas (2004). Is There Anything Characteristic About the Meaning of a Count Noun? Revue de la Lexicologie 18.
Merrie Bergmann (1982). Cross-Categorial Semantics for Conjoined Common Nouns. Linguistics and Philosophy 5 (3):399 - 401.
Brendan S. Gillon (1992). Towards a Common Semantics for English Count and Mass Nouns. Linguistics and Philosophy 15 (6):597 - 639.
Henry Laycock (2005). 'Mass Nouns, Count Nouns and Non-Count Nouns'. In Alex Barber (ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Elsevier
Gennaro Chierchia (2010). Mass Nouns, Vagueness and Semantic Variation. Synthese 174 (1):99 - 149.
Chris Fraser (2007). Language and Ontology in Early Chinese Thought. Philosophy East and West 57 (4):420-456.
Paul Égré & Denis Bonnay (2010). Vagueness, Uncertainty and Degrees of Clarity. Synthese 174 (1):47 - 78.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads62 ( #53,422 of 1,725,629 )
Recent downloads (6 months)10 ( #64,853 of 1,725,629 )
How can I increase my downloads?