David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Vagueness: an expression is vague if and only if it is possible that it give rise to a “borderline case.” A borderline case is a situation in which the application of a particular expression to a (name of) a particular object does not generate an expression with a definite TRUTH-VALUE. That is, the piece of language in question neither applies to the object nor fails to apply. Although such a formulation leaves it open what the pieces of language might be (whole sentences, individual words, NAMES or SINGULAR TERMS, PREDICATES or GENERAL TERMS), most discussions have focussed on vague general terms and have considered other types of terms to be non-vague. (Exceptions to this have called attention to the possibility of vague objects, thereby making the designation relation for singular terms be vague). The formulation also leaves open the possible causes for the expression not to have a definite truth value. If this indeterminacy is due to there being insufficient information available to determine applicability or non-applicability of the term (that is, we’re convinced the term either does or doesn’t apply, but we just don’t have enough information to determine which), then this is sometimes called “epistemic vagueness.” It is somewhat misleading to call this vagueness, for unlike true vagueness, this epistemic vagueness disappears if more information is brought into the situation. (‘There are 1.89∞106 stars in the sky’ epistemically vague but is not vague in the generally accepted sense of the term). ‘Vagueness’ may also be used to characterize non-linguistic items such as CONCEPTS, MEMORIES, and OBJECTS ... as well as such semi-linguistic items as STATEMENTS and PROPOSITIONS. Many of the issues involved in discussing the topic of vagueness impinge upon other philosophical topics, such as the existence of TRUTH-VALUE GAPS (declarative sentences which are neither TRUE nor FALSE) and the plausibility of MANY-VALUED LOGIC..
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Diana Raffman (2009). Demoting Higher-Order Vagueness. In Sebastiano Moruzzi & Richard Dietz (eds.), Cuts and Clouds. Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic. Oxford University Press. 509--22.
Chad Carmichael (2011). Vague Composition Without Vague Existence. Noûs 45 (2):315-327.
Augustin Rayo (2010). A Metasemantic Account of Vagueness. In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and Clouds: Vagueness, its Nature, and its Logic. Oxford University Press. 23--45.
Scott Soames (2012). Vagueness in the Law. In Marmor Andrei (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Law. Routledge. 95.
Loretta Torrago (1999). Vagueness and Identity. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 1999:161-170.
Scott Soames (2011). What Vagueness and Inconsistency Tell Us About Interpretation. In Andrei Marmor & Scott Soames (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of Language in the Law. Oxford University Press, Usa. 31--57.
Achille C. Varzi (2003). Vagueness. In L. Nadel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Nature Publishing Group.
Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.) (2010). Cuts and Clouds: Vagueness, its Nature, and its Logic. Oxford University Press.
Rosanna Keefe (2000). Theories of Vagueness. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads18 ( #103,106 of 1,413,285 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #154,925 of 1,413,285 )
How can I increase my downloads?