Vagueness as closeness

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (2):157 – 183 (2005)
This paper presents and defends a definition of vagueness, compares it favourably with alternative definitions, and draws out some consequences of accepting this definition for the project of offering a substantive theory of vagueness. The definition is roughly this: a predicate 'F' is vague just in case for any objects a and b, if a and b are very close in respects relevant to the possession of F, then 'Fa' and 'Fb' are very close in respect of truth. The definition is extended to cover vagueness of many-place predicates, of properties and relations, and of objects. Some of the most important advantages of the definition are that it captures the intuitions which motivate the thought that vague predicates are tolerant, without leading to contradiction, and that it yields a clear understanding of the relationships between higher-order vagueness, sorites susceptibility, blurred boundaries, and borderline cases. The most notable consequence of the definition is that the correct theory of vagueness must countenance degrees of truth.
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DOI 10.1080/00048400500110826
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References found in this work BETA
Nicholas J. J. Smith & Gideon Rosen (2004). Worldly Indeterminacy: A Rough Guide. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (1):185 – 198.
Cian Dorr (2003). Vagueness Without Ignorance. Philosophical Perspectives 17 (1):83–113.

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Citations of this work BETA
George Darby (2010). Quantum Mechanics and Metaphysical Indeterminacy. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):227-245.
Diana Raffman (2015). Responses to Discussants. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2):483-501.
Matti Eklund (2007). Characterizing Vagueness. Philosophy Compass 2 (6):896–909.

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