A determinable-based account of metaphysical indeterminacy

Inquiry 56 (4):359–385 (2013)
Abstract
Many phenomena appear to be indeterminate, including material macro-object boundaries, predicates or properties admitting of borderline cases, and certain open future claims. Here I provide an account of indeterminacy in metaphysical, rather than semantic or epistemic, terms. Previous such accounts have been "meta-level" accounts, taking metaphysical indeterminacy (MI) to involve its being indeterminate which of various determinate states of affairs obtain. On my alternative, "object-level" account, MI involves its being determinate (or just plain true) that an indeterminate (less than maximally specific) SOA obtains. I more specifically suggest that MI involves an object's (i) having a determinable property, but (ii) not having any unique determinate of that determinable. I motivate the needed extension of the traditional understanding of determinables, then argue that a determinable-based account of MI accommodates, in intuitive and intelligible fashion, indeterminacy in macro-object boundaries and the open future, while satisfactorily treating the usual concerns to accounts of MI stemming from Evans's argument and the problem of the many.
Keywords vagueness  indeterminacy  metaphysical indeterminacy  sorites paradox  determinable/determinate relation  Evans  determinables  determinates  vague boundaries
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