Vagueness and utility: The semantics of common nouns [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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
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References found in this work BETA
Edmund Gettier (1963). Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? Analysis 23 (6):121-123.
David Lewis (1969). Convention: A Philosophical Study. Harvard University Press.
L. A. Zadeh (1975). Fuzzy Logic and Approximate Reasoning. Synthese 30 (3-4):407-428.
Michael Dummett (1975). Wang's Paradox. Synthese 30 (3-4):201--32.
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.
Jonathan Lawry (2008). Appropriateness Measures: An Uncertainty Model for Vague Concepts. Synthese 161 (2):255 - 269.
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