Vagueness in Language: The Case Against Fuzzy Logic Revisited

Kamp and Fine presented an influential argument against the use of fuzzy logic for linguistic semantics in 1975. However, the argument assumes that contradictions of the form "A and not A" have semantic value zero. The argument has been recently criticized because sentences of this form are actually not perceived as contradictory by naive speakers. I present new experimental evidence arguing that fuzzy logic still isn't useful for linguistic semantics even if we take such naive speaker judgements at face value. Specifically I show that naive speakers judge "A and not A" in the relevant cases as more true than "B and not A" even when A and B are judged to be equally true. A truth functional semantics such as fuzzy logic cannot account for these intuitions directly.
Keywords contradiction  vagueness  fuzzy logic
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Nicholas J. J. Smith (2011). Fuzzy Logic and Higher-Order Vagueness. In Petr Cintula, Christian G. Fermüller, Lluis Godo & Petr Hájek (eds.), Understanding Vagueness: Logical, Philosophical and Linguistic Perspectives. College Publications 1--19.
Vilém Novák (1987). First-Order Fuzzy Logic. Studia Logica 46 (1):87 - 109.
Nicholas J. J. Smith (2004). Vagueness and Blurry Sets. Journal of Philosophical Logic 33 (2):165-235.

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