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Profile: Patrick Greenough (University of St. Andrews)
  1. Patrick Greenough, Vagueness: A Crash Course.
    Touching your mother's foot is incest because all the rest is a matter of degree (or so said Diogenes). That's just one expression of the puzzle of vagueness. Here's another: the passage of one second cannot mark the transition from being a pupa to being a butterfly--if something is a pupa at one time then in all close instants it remains a pupa; alas, it follows from this, via trivial logic, that there are no butterflies. Or again: it's vague where (...)
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  2. Patrick Greenough (2012). Discrimination and Self-Knowledge. In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    In this paper I show that a variety of Cartesian Conceptions of the mental are unworkable. In particular, I offer a much weaker conception of limited discrimination than the one advanced by Williamson (2000) and show that this weaker conception, together with some plausible background assumptions, is not only able to undermine the claim that our core mental states are luminous (roughly: if one is in such a state then one is in a position to know that one is) but (...)
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  3. Patrick Greenough (2012). Self-Knowledge. In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
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  4. Patrick Greenough (2011). Norm-Relativism, and Assertion. In Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press. 197.
     
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  5. Patrick Greenough (2011). Truthmaker Gaps and the No-No Paradox. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (3):547 - 563.
    Consider the following sentences: The neighbouring sentence is not true. The neighbouring sentence is not true. Call these the no-no sentences. Symmetry considerations dictate that the no-no sentences must both possess the same truth-value. Suppose they are both true. Given Tarski’s truth-schema—if a sentence S says that p then S is true iff p—and given what they say, they are both not true. Contradiction! Conclude: they are not both true. Suppose they are both false. Given Tarski’s falsity-schema—if a sentence S (...)
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  6. Patrick Greenough (2011). Truth-Relativism, Norm-Relativism, and Assertion. In Brown J. & Cappelen H. (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
    The main goal in this paper is to outline and defend a form of Relativism, under which truth is absolute but assertibility is not. I dub such a view Norm-Relativism in contrast to the more familiar forms of Truth-Relativism. The key feature of this view is that just what norm of assertion, belief, and action is in play in some context is itself relative to a perspective. In slogan form: there is no fixed, single norm for assertion, belief, and action. (...)
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  7. Jonas Åkerman & Patrick Greenough (2010). Hold the Context Fixed, Vagueness Still Remains. In Sebastiano Moruzzi & Richard Dietz (eds.), Cuts and Clouds. Oxford University Press. 275--88.
    Contextualism about vagueness (hereafter ‘Contextualism’) is the view that vagueness consists in a particular species of context-sensitivity and that properly accommodating this fact into our semantic theory will yield a plausible solution to the sorites paradox.[1],[2] But Contextualism, as many commentators have noted, faces the following immediate objection: if we hold the context fixed, vagueness still remains, therefore vagueness is not a species of context-sensitivity. Call this ‘the simple objection’.[3] Absent a convincing reply to the simple objection, Contextualism is in (...)
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  8. Patrick Greenough (2010). Deflationism and Truth-Value Gaps. In Nikolaj Pedersen & Cory D. Wright (eds.), New Waves inTruth. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Central to any form of Deflationism concerning truth (hereafter ‘DT’) is the claim that truth has no substantial theoretical role to play. For this reason, DT faces the following immediate challenge: if truth can play no substantial theoretical role then how can we model various prevalent kinds of indeterminacy—such as the indeterminacy exhibited by vague predicates, future contingents, liar sentences, truth-teller sentences, incomplete stipulations, cases of presupposition failure, and such-like? It is too hasty to assume that these phenomena are all (...)
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  9. Jonas Åkerman & Patrick Greenough (2009). Vagueness and Non-Indexical Contextualism. In Sarah Sawyer (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Language. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Contextualism concerning vagueness (hereafter ‘CV’) is a popular response to the puzzle of vagueness.[1] The goal in this paper is to uncover in what ways vagueness may be a particular species of context-sensitivity. The most promising form of CV turns out to be a version of socalled ‘Non-Indexical Contextualism’.[2] In §2, we sketch a generic form of CV (hereafter ‘GCV’). In §3, we distinguish between Truth CV and Content CV. A non-indexical form of CV is a form of Truth CV, (...)
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  10. Patrick Greenough (2009). On What It is to Be in a Quandary. Synthese 171 (3):399 - 408.
    A number of serious problems are raised against Crispin Wright’s quandary conception of vagueness. Two alternative conceptions of the quandary view are proposed instead. The first conception retains Wright’s thesis that, for all one knows, a verdict concerning a borderline case constitutes knowledge. However a further problem is seen to beset this conception. The second conception, in response to this further problem, does not enjoin the thesis that, for all one knows, a verdict concerning a borderline case constitutes knowledge. The (...)
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  11. Patrick Greenough, Duncan Pritchard & Timothy Williamson (eds.) (2009). Williamson on Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
    16 leading philosophers offer critical assessments of Timothy Williamson's ground-breaking work on knowledge and its impact on philosophy today.
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  12. Duncan Pritchard & Patrick Greenough (eds.) (2009). Williamson on Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Eighteen leading philosophers offer critical assessments of Timothy Williamson's ground-breaking work on knowledge and its impact on philosophy today. They discuss epistemological issues concerning evidence, defeasibility, scepticism, testimony, assertion, and perception, and debate Williamson's central claim that knowledge is a mental state.
     
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  13. Patrick Greenough (2008). Indeterminate Truth. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 32 (1):213-241.
    In §2-4, I survey three extant ways of making sense of indeterminate truth and find each of them wanting. All the later sections of the paper are concerned with showing that the most promising way of making sense of indeterminate truth is via either a theory of truthmaker gaps or via a theory of truthmaking gaps. The first intimations of a truthmaker–truthmaking gap theory of indeterminacy are to be found in Quine (1981). In §5, we see how Quine proposes to (...)
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  14. Patrick Greenough & Michael P. Lynch (eds.) (2006). Truth and Realism. Oxford University Press.
    Is truth objective or relative? What exists independently of our minds? The essays in this book debate these two questions, which are among the oldest of philosophical issues and have vexed almost every major philosopher, from Plato, to Kant, to Wittgenstein. Fifteen eminent contributors bring fresh perspectives, renewed energy, and original answers to debates of great interest both within philosophy and in the culture at large.
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  15. Patrick Greenough (2005). Contextualism About Vagueness and Higher-Order Vagueness. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 79 (1):167–190.
    To get to grips with what Shapiro does and can say about higher-order vagueness, it is first necessary to thoroughly review and evaluate his conception of (first-order) vagueness, a conception which is both rich and suggestive but, as it turns out, not so easy to stabilise. In Sections I–IV, his basic position on vagueness (see Shapiro [2003]) is outlined and assessed. As we go along, I offer some suggestions for improvement. In Sections V–VI, I review two key paradoxes of higher-order (...)
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  16. Stewart Shapiro & Patrick Greenough (2005). Patrick Greenough. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 79 (1):167-190.
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  17. Stewart Shapiro & Patrick Greenough (2005). Stewart Shapiro. Context, Conversation, and so-Called 'Higher-Order Vagueness'. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 79 (1):147–165.
    After a brief account of the problem of higher-order vagueness, and its seeming intractability, I explore what comes of the issue on a linguistic, contextualist account of vagueness. On the view in question, predicates like ‘borderline red’ and ‘determinately red’ are, or at least can be, vague, but they are different in kind from ‘red’. In particular, ‘borderline red’ and ‘determinately red’ are not colours. These predicates have linguistic components, and invoke notions like ‘competent user of the language’. On my (...)
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  18. Patrick Greenough (2003). Vagueness: A Minimal Theory. Mind 112 (446):235-281.
    Vagueness is given a philosophically neutral definition in terms of an epistemic notion of tolerance. Such a notion is intended to capture the thesis that vague terms draw no known boundary across their range of signification and contrasts sharply with the semantic notion of tolerance given by Wright (1975, 1976). This allows us to distinguish vagueness from superficially similar but distinct phenomena such as semantic incompleteness. Two proofs are given which show that vagueness qua epistemic tolerance and vagueness qua borderline (...)
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  19. Patrick Greenough (2001). Free Assumptions and the Liar Paradox. American Philosophical Quarterly 38 (2):115 - 135.
    A new solution to the liar paradox is developed using the insight that it is illegitimate to even suppose (let alone assert) that a liar sentence has a truth-status (true or not) on the grounds that supposing this sentence to be true/not-true essentially defeats the telos of supposition in a readily identifiable way. On that basis, the paradox is blocked by restricting the Rule of Assumptions in Gentzen-style presentations of the sequent-calculus. The lesson of the liar is that not all (...)
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