David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (1):25-48 (2013)
The naive theory of vagueness holds that the vagueness of an expression consists in its failure to draw a sharp boundary between positive and negative cases. The naive theory is contrasted with the nowadays dominant approach to vagueness, holding that the vagueness of an expression consists in its presenting borderline cases of application. The two approaches are briefly compared in their respective explanations of a paramount phenomenon of vagueness: our ignorance of any sharp boundary between positive and negative cases. These explanations clearly do not provide any ground for choosing the dominant approach against the naive theory. The decisive advantage of the former over the latter is rather supposed to consist in its immunity to any form of sorites paradox. But another paramount phenomenon of vagueness is higher-order vagueness: the expressions (such as ‘borderline’ and ‘definitely’) introduced in order to express in the object language the vagueness of the object language are themselves vague. Two highly plausible claims about higher-order vagueness are articulated and defended: the existence of “definitely ω ” positive and negative cases and the “radical” character of higher-order vagueness itself. Using very weak logical principles concerning vague expressions and the ‘definitely’-operator, it is then shown that, in the presence of higher-order vagueness as just described, the dominant approach is subject to higher-order sorites paradoxes analogous to the original ones besetting the naive theory, and therefore that, against the communis opinio , it does not fare substantially better with respect to immunity to any form of sorites paradox.
|Keywords||Borderline cases Higher-order vagueness Ignorance Sorites paradox Tolerance|
|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
Hartry H. Field (2008). Saving Truth From Paradox. Oxford University Press.
Timothy Williamson (1994). Vagueness. Routledge.
Stephen R. Schiffer (2003). The Things We Mean. Oxford University Press.
Roy A. Sorensen (1988). Blindspots. Oxford University Press.
Kit Fine (1975). Vagueness, Truth and Logic. Synthese 30 (3-4):265-300.
Citations of this work BETA
Pablo Cobreros (2013). Vagueness: Subvaluationism. Philosophy Compass 8 (5):472-485.
Paul Égré (forthcoming). Vagueness: Why Do We Believe in Tolerance? Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-17.
Elia Zardini (2013). Luminosity and Determinacy. Philosophical Studies 165 (3):765-786.
Similar books and articles
Susanne Bobzien (2013). Higher-Order Vagueness and Borderline Nestings: A Persistent Confusion. Analytic Philosophy 54 (1):1-43.
Susanne Bobzien (2010). Higher-Order Vagueness, Radical Unclarity, and Absolute Agnosticism. Philosophers' Imprint 10 (10):1-30.
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.
Elia Zardini (2008). Living on the Slippery Slope : The Nature, Sources and Logic of Vagueness. Dissertation, University of St Andrews
Susanne Bobzien (2002). Chrysippus and the Epistemic Theory of Vagueness. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 102 (1):217-238.
Susanne Bobzien (2011). In Defense of True Higher-Order Vagueness. Synthese 180 (3):317-335.
Elia Zardini (2008). A Model of Tolerance. Studia Logica 90 (3):337 - 368.
Otávio Bueno & Mark Colyvan (2012). Just What is Vagueness? Ratio 25 (1):19-33.
Patrick Greenough (2003). Vagueness: A Minimal Theory. Mind 112 (446):235-281.
R. Sorensen (2010). Borderline Hermaphrodites: Higher-Order Vagueness by Example. Mind 119 (474):393-408.
Timothy Williamson (1999). On the Structure of Higher-Order Vagueness. Mind 108 (429):127-143.
Haim Gaifman (2010). Vagueness, Tolerance and Contextual Logic. Synthese 174 (1):5 - 46.
Stewart Shapiro & Patrick Greenough (2005). Stewart Shapiro. Context, Conversation, and so-Called 'Higher-Order Vagueness'. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 79 (1):147–165.
Added to index2011-09-07
Total downloads105 ( #28,916 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)16 ( #46,799 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?