David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
According to the dominant approach in the theory of vagueness, the nature of the vagueness of an expression ‘F’ consists in its presenting borderline cases in an appropriately ordered series: objects which are neither definitely F nor definitely not F (where the notion of definiteness can be semantic, ontic, epistemic, psychological or primitive). In view of the various problems faced by theories of vagueness adopting the dominant approach, the thesis proposes to reconsider the naive theory of vagueness, according to which the nature of the vagueness of an expression consists in its not drawing boundaries between any neighbouring objects in an appropriately ordered series. It is argued that expressions and concepts which do present this feature play an essential role in our cognitive and practical life, allowing us to conceptualize—in a way which would otherwise be impossible—the typically coarse-grained distinctions we encounter in reality. Despite its strong initial plausibility and ability to explain many phenomena of vagueness, the naive theory is widely rejected because thought to be shown inconsistent by the sorites paradox. In reply, it is first argued that accounts of vagueness based on the dominant approach are themselves subject to higher-order sorites paradoxes. The paradox is then solved on behalf of the naive theory by rejecting the unrestricted transitivity of the consequence relation on a vague language; a family of logics apt for reasoning with vague expressions is proposed and studied (using models with partially ordered values). The characteristic philosophical and logical consequences of this novel solution are developed and defended in detail. In particular, it is shown how the analysis of what happens in the attempt of surveying a sorites series and deciding each case allows the naive theory to recover a "thin" notion of a borderline case
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Similar books and articles
Matti Eklund (2005). What Vagueness Consists In. Philosophical Studies 125 (1):27-60.
Elia Zardini (2008). A Model of Tolerance. Studia Logica 90 (3):337 - 368.
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.
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.
Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.) (2010). Cuts and Clouds: Vagueness, its Nature, and its Logic. Oxford University Press.
Susanne Bobzien (2010). Higher-Order Vagueness, Radical Unclarity, and Absolute Agnosticism. Philosophers' Imprint 10 (10):1-30.
Nicholas J. J. Smith (2005). Vagueness as Closeness. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (2):157 – 183.
Susanne Bobzien (2002). Chrysippus and the Epistemic Theory of Vagueness. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 102 (1):217-238.
Elia Zardini (2013). Higher-Order Sorites Paradox. Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (1):25-48.
Added to index2010-07-22
Total downloads50 ( #26,521 of 1,008,715 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #39,209 of 1,008,715 )
How can I increase my downloads?