Williamson's master argument on vagueness

Synthese 138 (2):175 - 206 (2004)
According to Timothy Williamson's epistemic view, vague predicates have precise extensions, we just don't know where their boundaries lie. It is a central challenge to his view to explain why we would be so ignorant, if precise borderlines were really there. He offers a novel argument to show that our insuperable ignorance ``is just what independently justified epistemic principles would lead one to expect''. This paper carefully formulates and critically examines Williamson's argument. It is shown that the argument does not explain our ignorance, and is not really apt for doing so. Williamson's unjustified commitment to a controversial and crucial assumption is noted. It is also argued in three different ways that his argument is, in any case, self-defeating – the same principles that drive the argument can be applied to undermine one of its premises. Along the way, Williamson's unstated commitment to a number of other controversial doctrines comes to light.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,351
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    14 ( #95,211 of 1,088,389 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    3 ( #30,936 of 1,088,389 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.