David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studia Logica 90 (3):313 - 336 (2008)
It is a commonplace that the extensions of most, perhaps all, vague predicates vary with such features as comparison class and paradigm and contrasting cases. My view proposes another, more pervasive contextual parameter. Vague predicates exhibit what I call open texture: in some circumstances, competent speakers can go either way in the borderline region. The shifting extension and anti-extensions of vague predicates are tracked by what David Lewis calls the “conversational score”, and are regulated by what Kit Fine calls penumbral connections, including a principle of tolerance. As I see it, vague predicates are response-dependent, or, better, judgement-dependent, at least in their borderline regions. This raises questions concerning how one reasons with such predicates. In this paper, I present a model theory for vague predicates, so construed. It is based on an overall supervaluationist-style framework, and it invokes analogues of Kripke structures for intuitionistic logic. I argue that the system captures, or at least nicely models, how one ought to reason with the shifting extensions (and anti-extensions) of vague predicates, as borderline cases are called and retracted in the course of a conversation. The model theory is illustrated with a forced march sorites series, and also with a thought experiment in which vague predicates interact with so-called future contingents. I show how to define various connectives and quantifiers in the language of the system, and how to express various penumbral connections and the principle of tolerance. The project fits into one of the topics of this special issue. In the course of reasoning, even with the external context held fixed, it is uncertain what the future extension of the vague predicates will be. Yet we still manage to reason with them. The system is based on that developed, more fully, in my Vagueness in Context , Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006, but some criticisms and replies to critics are incorporated.
|Keywords||Philosophy Computational Linguistics Mathematical Logic and Foundations Logic|
|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
David Lewis (1979). Scorekeeping in a Language Game. Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
Rosanna Keefe (2000). Theories of Vagueness. Cambridge University Press.
Kit Fine (1975). Vagueness, Truth and Logic. Synthese 30 (3-4):265-300.
Delia Graff Fara (2000). Shifting Sands: An Interest Relative Theory of Vagueness. Philosophical Topics 28 (1):45--81.
Stewart Shapiro (2006). Vagueness in Context. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Bart Van Kerkhove & Guido Vanackere (2003). Vagueness-Adaptive Logic: A Pragmatical Approach to Sorites Paradoxes. Studia Logica 75 (3):383-411.
John Collins (2000). Unsharpenable Vagueness. Philosophical Topics 28 (1):1-10.
Stewart Shapiro & Patrick Greenough (2005). Stewart Shapiro. Context, Conversation, and so-Called 'Higher-Order Vagueness'. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 79 (1):147–165.
Diana Raffman (2011). Vagueness and Observationality. In Giuseppina Ronzitti (ed.), Vagueness: A Guide. Springer Verlag 107--121.
Achille C. Varzi (2005). The Vagueness of ‘Vague’: Rejoinder to Hull. Mind 114 (455):695-702.
Jonas Åkerman (2011). Vagueness, Semantics and Psychology. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):1-5.
Neil Cooper (1995). Paradox Lost: Understanding Vague Predicates. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 3 (2):244 – 269.
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.
Rohit Parikh (1996). Vague Predicates and Language Games. Theoria 11 (3):97-107.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads67 ( #63,929 of 1,907,220 )
Recent downloads (6 months)11 ( #59,903 of 1,907,220 )
How can I increase my downloads?