David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Giuseppina Ronzitti (ed.), Vagueness: A Guide. Springer Verlag 107--121 (2011)
Of the many families of words that are thought to be vague, so-called observational predicates may be both the most fascinating and the most confounding. Roughly, observational predicates are terms that apply to objects on the basis of how those objects appear to us perceptually speaking. ‘Red’, ‘loud’, ‘sweet’, ‘acrid’, and ‘smooth’ are good examples. Delia Graff explains that a “predicate is observational just in case its applicability to an object (given a fixed context of evaluation) depends only on the way that object appears” (2001, 3). By the same token observational predicates are, as Crispin Wright observes, terms “whose senses are taught entirely by ostension” (1976). Like other vague predicates, observational words appear to generate sorites paradoxes. Consider for example a series of 20 colored patches progressing from a clearly red one to a clearly orange one, so ordered that each patch is just noticeably different in hue from the one before. The following argument then seems forced upon us: (1) Patch #1 is red. (2) Any patch that differs only slightly in hue from a red patch is itself red. (3) Therefore patch #20 is red. Premise (2) expresses what Wright has called the tolerance of ‘red’: the application of the predicate tolerates small changes in a decisive parameter (here, hue). Of course, most vague predicates, hence most versions of the sorites, are not observational. For instance, given a series of.
|Keywords||vagueness sorites perceptual psychology|
|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
Paul Égré & Anouk Barberousse (2014). Borel on the Heap. Erkenntnis 79 (S5):1043-1079.
Diana Raffman (2012). Indiscriminability and Phenomenal Continua. Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):309-322.
Similar books and articles
David M. Rosenthal (1999). The Colors and Shapes of Visual Experiences. In Denis Fisette (ed.), Consciousness and Intentionality: Models and Modalities of Attribution. Kluwer 95--118.
Rohit Parikh (1996). Vague Predicates and Language Games. Theoria 11 (3):97-107.
David H. Sanford (1993). Disjunctive Predicates. American Philosophical Quarterly 30 (2):167-1722.
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.
Rosanna Keefe (2011). Phenomenal Sorites Paradoxes and Looking the Same. Dialectica 65 (3):327-344.
Stewart Shapiro & Patrick Greenough (2005). Stewart Shapiro. Context, Conversation, and so-Called 'Higher-Order Vagueness'. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 79 (1):147–165.
Delia Graff Fara (2003). Gap Principles, Penumbral Consequence, and Infinitely Higher-Order Vagueness. In J. C. Beall (ed.), New Essays on the Semantics of Paradox. Oxford University Press
Diana Raffman (2005). Borderline Cases and Bivalence. Philosophical Review 114 (1):1-31.
Diana Raffman (2000). Is Perceptual Indiscriminability Nontransitive? Philosophical Topics 28 (1):153-75.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads35 ( #114,279 of 1,796,218 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #468,533 of 1,796,218 )
How can I increase my downloads?