A vague demonstration

Linguistics and Philosophy 23 (5):507-522 (2000)
Poindexter points and asserts `That is Clinton''. But it is vague as to whether he pointed at Clinton or pointed at the more salient man, Gore. Since the vagueness only occurs at the level of reference fixing, the content of the identity proposition is precise. Indeed, it is either a necessary truth or a necessary falsehood. Since Poindexter''s utterance has a hidden truth value by virtue of vagueness, it increases the plausibility of epistemicism. Epistemicism says that vague statements have hidden truth values. If a precise statement can have a hidden truth value conferred indirectly by vaguesness, then a vague statement can have a hidden truth value directly by its own vagueness.
Keywords Linguistics   Philosophy of Language   Artificial Intelligence   Computational Linguistics   Semantics   Syntax
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DOI 10.1023/A:1005540431474
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Ryan Wasserman (2015). Vagueness and the Laws of Metaphysics. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3).

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