Vagueness and utility: The semantics of common nouns [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
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
Michael Dummett (1975). Wang's Paradox. Synthese 30 (3-4):201--32.
David Lewis (1969). Convention: A Philosophical Study. Harvard University Press.
Charles S. Peirce (1905). What Pragmatism Is. The Monist 15 (2):161-181.
Robert Stalnaker (1988). Belief Attribution and Context. In Robert H. Grimm & D. D. Merrill (eds.), Contents of Thought. University of Arizona Press. 140--156.
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.
Jonathan Lawry (2008). Appropriateness Measures: An Uncertainty Model for Vague Concepts. Synthese 161 (2):255 - 269.
Kees van Deemter (2009). Utility and Language Generation: The Case of Vagueness. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophical Logic 38 (6):607-632.
Kris De Jaegher & Robert van Rooij (2013). Game-Theoretic Pragmatics Under Conflicting and Common Interests. Erkenntnis:1-52.
Andreas Blume & Oliver Board (2013). Intentional Vagueness. Erkenntnis:1-45.
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