This paper discusses Fara's so-called 'Paradox of Higher-OrderVagueness' concerning supervaluationism. In the paper I argue that supervaluationism is not committed to global validity, as it is largely assumed in the literature, but to a weaker notion of logical consequence I call 'regional validity'. Then I show that the supervaluationist might solve Fara's paradox making use of this weaker notion of logical consequence. The paper is discussed by Delia Fara in the same volume.
The purpose of this paper is to challenge some widespread assumptions about the role of the modal axiom S4 in a theory of vagueness. In the context of vagueness, S4 usually appears as the principle ‘If it is clear (determinate, definite) that A, then it is clear (determinate, definite) that it is clear (determinate, definite) that A’, or, more formally, CA → CCA. We show how in the debate over S4 two different notions of clarity are in play (...) (Williamson-style "luminosity" or self-revealing clarity and concealeable clarity) and what their respective functions are in accounts of higher-ordervagueness. On this basis, we argue first that, contrary to common opinion, higher-ordervagueness and S4 are perfectly compatible. This is in response to claims like that by Williamson that, if vagueness is defined with the help of a clarity operator that obeys S4, higher-ordervagueness disappears. Second, we argue that, contrary to common opinion, (i) bivalence-preservers (e.g. epistemicists) can without contradiction condone S4 (by adopting what elsewhere we call columnar higher-ordervagueness), and (ii) bivalence-discarders (e.g. open-texture theorists, supervaluationists) can without contradiction reject S4. Third, we rebut a number of arguments that have been produced by opponents of S4, in particular those by Williamson. (The paper is pitched towards graduate students with basic knowledge of modal logic.). (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Stewart Shapiro recently argued that there is no higher-ordervagueness. More specifically, his thesis is: (ST) ‘So-called second-order vagueness in ‘F’ is nothing but first-order vagueness in the phrase ‘competent speaker of English’ or ‘competent user of “F”’. Shapiro bases (ST) on a description of the phenomenon of higher-ordervagueness and two accounts of ‘borderline case’ and provides several arguments in its support. We present the phenomenon (as Shapiro describes it) and the accounts; (...) then discuss Shapiro’s arguments, arguing that none is compelling. Lastly, we introduce the account of vagueness Shapiro would have obtained had he retained compositionality and show that it entails true higher-ordervagueness. (shrink)
It is common among philosophers who take an interest in the phenomenon of vagueness in natural language not merely to acknowledge higher-ordervagueness but to take its existence as a basic datum— so that views that lack the resources to account for it, or that put obstacles in the way, are regarded as deficient just on that score. My main purpose in what follows is to loosen the hold of this deeply misconceived idea. Higher-ordervagueness (...) is no basic datum but an illusion, fostered by misunderstandings of the nature of (ordinary, if you will ‘first-order’) vagueness itself. To see through the illusion is to take a step that is prerequisite for a correct understanding of vagueness, and for any satisfying dissolution of its attendant paradoxes. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: This paper shows that authors who have recently argued that higher-ordervagueness is incoherent, paradoxical, illusory or non-existent confound elements of higher-ordervagueness with elements of a different paradigm of borderline borderline cases; and that, once the elements of that other paradigm are removed from the description of higher-ordervagueness, the basis for the claims of paradoxicality, etc., disappears. The paper sets out the two paradigms (higher-ordervagueness vs borderline nestings) and (...) their logics (iterated modalities vs. mixed-order non-empty predicates), illustrates how the notion of hierarchical higher-ordervagueness gains its persuasiveness from a conflation of these paradigms, and shows how the alternative notion of columnar higher-ordervagueness preserves coherence and relevance to the Sorites. .................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... ................................ -/- Section 1 presents the notion of hierarchical vagueness. Section 2 compares two ordinary language uses of “borderline case”: epistemic and classificatory use. Section 3 lays out the basic logical requirements for higher-ordervagueness and shows that it can be columnar rather than hierarchical. Section 4 presents the paradigm of borderline nestings and its logic. Section 5 lists sources for the conflation of classificatory use plus borderline nestings with epistemic use plus higher-ordervagueness. Section 6 shows how such conflation undermines the arguments against higher-ordervagueness by Sainsbury, Shapiro, Raffman, Wright, Williamson. Section 7 concludes with a note on columnar higher-ordervagueness and the Sorites. (shrink)
The paper presents a new theory of higher-ordervagueness. This theory is an improvement on current theories of vagueness in that it (i) describes the kind of borderline cases relevant to the Sorites paradox, (ii) retains the ‘robustness’ of vague predicates, (iii) introduces a notion of higher-ordervagueness that is compositional, but (iv) avoids the paradoxes of higher-ordervagueness. The theory’s central building-blocks: Borderlinehood is defined as radical unclarity. Unclarity is defined by means (...) of competent, rational, informed speakers (‘CRISPs’) whose competence, etc., is indexed to the scope of the unclarity operator. The unclarity is radical since it eliminates clear cases of unclarity and, that is, clear borderline cases. This radical unclarity leads to a (bivalence-compatible, non-intuitionist) absolute agnosticism about the semantic status of all borderline cases. The corresponding modal system would be a non-normal variation on S4M. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Hierarchical higher-ordervagueness leads to incoherence when used as a means to avoid a sharp boundary in the Sorites paradox (Sainsbury 1990, Wright 1992, Shapiro 2006). The challenge is to provide (i) a compositional notion of higher-ordervagueness that (ii) allows infinite higher orders, (iii) retains the desired relevance to the Sorites, (iv) allows for a model-theoretic representation that reflects such relevance, but (v) does not run into paradox. The recently introduced alternative of columnar (...) class='Hi'>higher-ordervagueness meets this challenge. The present paper explains what columnar higher-ordervagueness is; gives a formalization of its core properties in terms of an axiomatic modal system; produces a modal semantics for its simplest (bivalent & classical) form and identifies its characteristic axiom; and supplies a philosophical interpretation of the semantics that utilizes both viewpoint sensitivity and extensional context sensitivity. The paper adds an illustration of how the semantics can be used as an infrastructure for epistemicist (and non-epistemicist) bivalent theories of vagueness and touches upon possible modifications for three-valued logics. It concludes with listing the considerable advantages columnar higher-ordervagueness has over other theories of higher-ordervagueness. (shrink)
Philosophers disagree about whether vagueness requires us to admit truth-value gaps, about whether there is a gap between the objects of which a given vague predicate is true and those of which it is false on an appropriately constructed sorites series for the predicate—a series involving small increments of change in a relevant respect between adjacent elements, but a large increment of change in that respect between the endpoints. There appears, however, to be widespread agreement that there is some (...) sense in which vague predicates are gappy which may be expressed neutrally by saying that on any appropriately constructed sorites series for a given vague predicate there will be a gap between the objects of which the predicate is deﬁnitely true and those of which it is deﬁnitely false. Taking as primitive the operator ‘it is deﬁnitely the case that’, abbreviated as ‘D’, we may stipulate that a predicate F is deﬁnitely true (or deﬁnitely false) of an object just in case ‘DF (a)’, where a is a name for the object, is true (or false) simpliciter.1 This yields the following conditional formulation of a ‘gap principle’: (DΦ(x) ∧ D¬Φ(y)) → ¬R(x, y). Here ‘Φ’ is to be replaced with a vague predicate, while ‘R’ is to stand for a sorites relation for that predicate: a relation that can be used to construct a sorites series for the predicate—such as the relation of being just one millimetre shorter than for the predicate ‘is tall’. Disagreements about the sense in which it is correct to say that vague predicates are gappy can then be recast as disagreements about how to understand the deﬁnitely operator. One might give it, for example, a pragmatic construal such as ‘it would not be misleading to assert that’; or an epistemic construal such as ‘it is known that’ or ‘it is knowable that’; or a semantic construal such as ‘it is true that’. (shrink)
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-ordervagueness: 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-ordervagueness are articulated and defended: the existence of “definitely ω ” positive and negative cases and the “radical” character of higher-ordervagueness itself. Using very weak logical principles concerning vague expressions and the ‘definitely’-operator, it is then shown that, in the presence of higher-ordervagueness 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. (shrink)
A number of arguments purport to show that vague properties determine sharp boundaries at higher orders. That is, although we may countenance vagueness concerning the location of boundaries for vague predicates, every predicate can instead be associated with precise knowable cut-off points deriving from precision in their higher order boundaries. -/- I argue that this conclusion is indeed paradoxical, and identify the assumption responsible for the paradox as the Brouwerian principle B for vagueness: that if p then it's (...) completely determinate that either it's vague whether p, or p. Other paradoxes which do not appear to turn on B turn instead on some subtle issues concerning the relation between assertion, belief and higher order vagueness. -/- In this paper a B-free picture of assertion, knowledge and logic is outlined which is completely free of higher order precision. A class of realistic models containing counterexamples to B and a number of weakenings of B are introduced and its logic is shown to support vagueness at every order. A novel framework for thinking about the semantic apparatus in the presence of metalinguistic vagueness is also developed. In this framework the vague metatheoretic vocabulary is part of the object language and can readily be applied to itself. (shrink)
A discussion of Crispin Wright's 'paradox of higher-ordervagueness', I suggest that the paradox may be resolved by careful attention to the logical principles used in its formulation. In particular, I focus attention on the rule of inference that allows for the inference from A to 'Definitely A', and argue that this rule, though valid, may not be used in subordinate deductions, e.g., in the course of a conditional proof. Wright's paradox uses the rule (or its equivalent) in (...) this way. (shrink)
Discussions of higher-ordervagueness rarely define what it is for a term to have nth-order vagueness for n>2. This paper provides a rigorous definition in a framework analogous to possible worlds semantics; it is neutral between epistemic and supervaluationist accounts of vagueness. The definition is shown to have various desirable properties. But under natural assumptions it is also shown that 2nd-order vagueness implies vagueness of all orders, and that a conjunction can have 2nd-order (...) class='Hi'>vagueness even if its conjuncts do not. Relations between the definition and other proposals are explored; reasons are given for preferring the present proposal. (shrink)
Higher-ordervagueness is widely thought to be a feature of vague predicates that any adequate theory of vagueness must accommodate. It takes a variety of forms. Perhaps the most familiar is the supposed existence, or at least possibility, of higher-order borderline cases—borderline borderline cases, borderline borderline borderline cases, and so forth. A second form of higherorder vagueness, what I will call ‘prescriptive’ higher-ordervagueness, is thought to characterize complex predicates constructed from vague predicates (...) by attaching operators having to do with the predicates’ proper application. For example, the predicates ‘mandates application of “old”’ and ‘can competently be called “old”’ are prescriptively higher-order vague. Higher-ordervagueness appears in other guises as well,1 but these two have been of particular interest to philosophers and will be my target here. I want to expose some misconceptions about them. If I am right, higher-ordervagueness is less prevalent, and less important theoretically, than is usually supposed.2 In what follows I am going to assume that vagueness is a semantic feature of natural language. For the most part I won’t discuss epistemic or pragmatic views, and I will say nothing about so-called metaphysical vagueness. (shrink)
To get to grips with what Shapiro does and can say about higher-ordervagueness, 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 ) 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-ordervagueness, while in Section VII, I explore a possible line of response to such paradoxes given by Keefe . In Section VIII, I assess whether which Shapiro might adapt Keefe’s response to combat both paradoxes. (shrink)
After a brief account of the problem of higher-ordervagueness, 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 view, so-called ‘higher-ordervagueness’ is actually ordinary, ﬁrst-order vagueness in different predicates. I explore the possibility that, nevertheless, a pernicious regress ensues. (shrink)
Difficulties in arriving at an adequate conception of vagueness have led many writers to describe a phenomenon that has come to be known as "higher-ordervagueness". Almost as many have found it to be a problem that needs to be addressed. In what follows I shall argue that, whilst we must acknowledge its presence, it is a pseudo-problem. The crucial point is the vagueness of "vague", which shows the phenomenon to be unproblematic though real enough.
It is generally supposed that borderline cases account for the tolerance of vague terms, yet cannot themselves be sharply bounded, leading to infinite levels of higher order vagueness. This higher order vagueness subverts any formal effort to make language precise. However, it is possible to show that tolerance must diminish at higher orders. The attempt to derive it from indiscriminability founders on a simple empirical test, and we learn instead that there is no limit to how small higher (...) order tolerance may become. That means there is no limit to how precisely we may draw the boundaries of borderline cases, thus forestalling any requirement for higher order vagueness. (shrink)
R. Sorensen’s argument to the effect that ’vague’ is a vague predicate has been used by D. Hyde to infer that vague predicates suffer from higher-ordervagueness. M. Tye has objected (convincingly) that this is too strong: all that follows from Sorensen’s result is that there are some border border cases, but not necessarily border border cases of every vague predicate. I argue that this is still too strong: Sorensen’s proof presupposes the existence of border border cases, hence (...) cannot be used to establish that fact on pain of circularity. (shrink)
A theory of higher-ordervagueness for partially-defined, context-sensitive predicates like is blue is offered. According to the theory, the predicate is determinately blue means roughly is an object o such that the claim that o is blue is a necessary consequence of the rules of the language plus the underlying non-linguistic facts in the world. Because the question of which rules count as rules of the language is itself vague, the predicate is determinately blue is both vague and (...) partial in a sense analogous (though not completely identical) to the sense in which is blue is vague and partial. However, higher-ordervagueness stops there. Although the anti-extension of is determinately blue differs from that of is blue, further iterations of determinately have no semantic effect. -/- The paper closes with a discussion of the need to posit sharp and precise lines dividing the range of potential application of a vague predicate into semantically distinct categories. It is argued that this is less of a problem for the present theory than for many others, because the categories into which the range is divided by the present theory -- like the category of counting as blue because the rules of the language offer speakers no discretion, as opposed to the category of counting as blue because speakers have invoked an absolute minimum of discretion in adjusting the contextually sensitive boundaries of the predicate -- are not those that the linguistic competence of ordinary speakers equips them to make highly accurate and reliable judgments about. (shrink)
I argue against a standard conception of classification, according to which concepts classify by drawing boundaries. This conception cannot properly account for "higher-ordervagueness." I discuss in detail claims by Crispin Wright about "definitely," and its connection with higher-ordervagueness. Contrary to Wright, I argue that the line between definite cases of red and borderline ones is not sharp. I suggest a new conception of classification: many concepts classify without drawing boundaries; they are boundaryless. Within this (...) picture, there are no orders of vagueness, though the phenomena which suggest the description "higher-ordervagueness" are real enough. (shrink)
The major reason given in the philosophical literature for dissatisfaction with theories of vagueness based on fuzzy logic is that such theories give rise to a problem of higherorder vagueness or artificial precision. In this paper I first outline the problem and survey suggested solutions: fuzzy epistemicism; measuring truth on an ordinal scale; logic as modelling; fuzzy metalanguages; blurry sets; and fuzzy plurivaluationism. I then argue that in order to decide upon a solution, we need to understand the (...) true nature and source of the problem. Two possible sources are discussed: the problem stems from the very nature of vagueness—from the defining features of vague predicates; or the problem stems from the way in which the meanings of predicates are determined—by the usage of speakers together with facts about their environment and so on. I argue that the latter is the true source of the problem, and on this basis that fuzzy plurivaluationism is the correct solution. (shrink)
In this paper, I start by showing that sorites paradoxes are inclosure paradoxes. That is, they fit the Inclosure Scheme which characterizes the paradoxes of self-reference. Given that sorites and self-referential paradoxes are of the same kind, they should have the same kind of solution. The rest of the paper investigates what a dialetheic solution to sorites paradoxes is like, connections with a dialetheic solution to the self-referential paradoxes, and related issues—especially so called "higher order" vagueness.
Paraconsistent approaches have received little attention in the literature on vagueness (at least compared to other proposals). The reason seems to be that many philosophers have found the idea that a contradiction might be true (or that a sentence and its negation might both be true) hard to swallow. Even advocates of paraconsistency on vagueness do not look very convinced when they consider this fact; since they seem to have spent more time arguing that paraconsistent theories are at (...) least as good as their paracomplete counterparts, than giving positive reasons to believe on a particular paraconsistent proposal. But it sometimes happens that the weakness of a theory turns out to be its mayor ally, and this is what (I claim) happens in a particular paraconsistent proposal known as subvaluationism. In order to make room for truth-value gluts subvaluationism needs to endorse a notion of logical consequence that is, in some sense, weaker than standard notions of consequence. But this weakness allows the subvaluationist theory to accommodate higher-ordervagueness in a way that it is not available to other theories of vagueness (such as, for example, its paracomplete counterpart, supervaluationism). (shrink)
In this paper we compare different models of vagueness viewed as a specific form of subjective uncertainty in situations of imperfect discrimination. Our focus is on the logic of the operator “clearly” and on the problem of higher-ordervagueness. We first examine the consequences of the notion of intransitivity of indiscriminability for higher-ordervagueness, and compare several accounts of vagueness as inexact or imprecise knowledge, namely Williamson’s margin for error semantics, Halpern’s two-dimensional semantics, and (...) the system we call Centered semantics. We then propose a semantics of degrees of clarity, inspired from the signal detection theory model, and outline a view of higher-ordervagueness in which the notions of subjective clarity and unclarity are handled asymmetrically at higher orders, namely such that the clarity of clarity is compatible with the unclarity of unclarity. (shrink)
Conscious mental states are states we are in some way aware of. I compare higher-order theories of consciousness, which explain consciousness by appeal to such higher-order awareness (HOA), and first-order theories, which do not, and I argue that higher-order theories have substantial explanatory advantages. The higher-order nature of our awareness of our conscious states suggests an analogy with the metacognition that figures in the regulation of psychological processes and behaviour. I argue that, although both consciousness and (...) metacognition involve higher-order psychological states, they have little more in common. One thing they do share is the possibility of misrepresentation; just as metacognitive processing can misrepresent one’s cognitive states and abilities, so the HOA in virtue of which one’s mental states are conscious can, and sometimes does, misdescribe those states. A striking difference between the two, however, has to do with utility for psychological processing. Metacognition has considerable benefit for psychological processing; in contrast, it is unlikely that there is much, if any, utility to mental states’ being conscious over and above the utility those states have when they are not conscious. (shrink)
One thousand stones, suitably arranged, might form a heap. If we remove a single stone from a heap of stones we still have a heap; at no point will the removal of just one stone make sufficient difference to transform a heap into something which is not a heap. But, if this is so, we still have a heap, even when we have removed the last stone composing our original structure. So runs the Sorites paradox. Similar paradoxes can be constructed (...) with any predicate which, like 'heap', displays borderline vagueness. Although I have frequently heard it said that there is no completely credible and satisfying dissolution of the paradoxes of the Sorites family; and although there is no possible approach to dissolution which has not been at least partially explored, philosophers continue glibly to use vague language as though it were entirely unproblematic. Since no argument has ever been produced which would justify our ignoring the para~doxes, this situation is extremely unsatisfactory. (shrink)
The Pyrrhonian sceptic Favorinus of Arelata personified indeterminacy, cultivating his (or her) borderline status to undermine dogmatism. Inspired by the techniques of Favorinus, I show, by example, that ‘vague’ has borderline cases. These concrete steps lead to a more abstract argument that ‘vague’ has borderline borderline cases and borderline borderline borderline cases. My specimens are intended supplement earlier non-constructive proofs of the vagueness of ‘vague’.
A number of authors have objected to the application of non-classical logic to problems in philosophy on the basis that these non-classical logics are usually characterised by a classical metatheory. In many cases the problem amounts to more than just a discrepancy; the very phenomena responsible for non-classicality occur in the field of semantics as much as they do elsewhere. The phenomena of higher order vagueness and the revenge liar are just two such examples. The aim of this paper (...) is to show that a large class of non-classical logics are strong enough to formulate their own model theory in a corresponding non-classical set theory. Specifically I show that adequate definitions of validity can be given for the propositional calculus in such a way that the metatheory proves, in the specified logic, that every theorem of the propositional fragment of that logic is validated. It is shown that in some cases it may fail to be a classical matter whether a given sentence is valid or not. One surprising conclusion for non-classical accounts of vagueness is drawn: there can be no axiomatic, and therefore precise, system which is determinately sound and complete. (shrink)
Though it is standardly assumed that supervaluationism applied to vagueness is committed to global validity, Achille Varzi (2007) argues that the supervaluationist should take seriously the idea of adopting local validity instead. Varzi’s motivation for the adoption of local validity is largely based on two objections against the global notion: that it brings some counterexamples to classically valid rules of inference and that it is inconsistent with unrestricted higher-ordervagueness. In this discussion I review these objections and (...) point out ways to address them not considered in Varzi’s paper. (shrink)
Epistemicism about vagueness is the view that vagueness, or indeterminacy, is an epistemic matter. Truthmaker-gap epistemicism is the view that indeterminate truths are indeterminate because their truth is not grounded by any worldly fact. Both epistemicism in general and truthmaker-gap epistemicism originated in Roy Sorensen's work on vagueness. My aim in this paper is to give a characterization of truthmaker-gap epistemicism and argue that the view is incompatible with higher-ordervagueness: vagueness in whether some (...) case of the form ‘it is determinate that A’ or ‘it is indeterminate whether A’ is true. Since it is highly likely that there is higher-ordervagueness (and indeed, Sorensen is adamant that there is higher-ordervagueness), truthmaker-gap epistemicism is in an uncomfortable position. (shrink)
If there are vague numbers, it would be easier to use numbers as semantic values in a treatment of vagueness while avoiding precise cut-off points. When we assign a particular statement a range of values (less than 1 and greater than 0) there is no precise sharp cut-off point that locates the greatest lower bound or the least upper bound of the interval, I should like to say. Is this possible? “Vague Numbers” stands for awareness of the problem. I (...) do not present a serious theory of vague numbers. I sketch some reasons for using a many-value semantics. These reasons refer to my earlier treatments of determinacy and definitions of higher-order borderline cases. I also sketch how definitions of independence use the determinacy operator. The distinction between actually assigned values and values whose assignments are acceptable helps avoid unwanted precise cut-off points. (shrink)
Is higher-ordervagueness a real phenomenon? Dominic Hyde (1994) claims that it is, and that it is part and parcel of vagueness itself. According to Hyde, any genuinely vague predicate must also be higher-order vague. His argument for this view is unsound, however. The purpose of this note is to expose the fallacy, and to make some related observations on the vague, the higher-order vague, and the vaguely vague.
Evidentialism is the thesis that a person is justified in believing a proposition iff the person's evidence on balance supports that proposition. In discussing epistemological issues associated with disagreements among epistemic peers, some philosophers have endorsed principles that seem to run contrary to evidentialism, specifying how one should revise one's beliefs in light of disagreement. In this paper, I examine the connection between evidentialism and these principles. I argue that the puzzles about disagreement provide no reason to abandon evidentialism and (...) that there are no true general principles about justified responses to disagreement other than the general evidentialist principle. I then argue that the puzzles about disagreement are primarily puzzles about the evidential impact of higher-order evidence – evidence about the significance or existence of ordinary, or first-order, evidence. I conclude by arguing that such higher-order evidence can often have a profound effect on the justification of first-order beliefs. (shrink)
This paper concerns would-be necessary connections between doxastic attitudes about the epistemic statuses of your doxastic attitudes, or , and the epistemic statuses of those doxastic attitudes. I will argue that, in some situations, it can be reasonable for a person to believe p and to suspend judgment about whether believing p is reasonable for her. This will set the stage for an account of the virtue of intellectual humility, on which humility is a matter of your higher-order epistemic (...) attitudes. Recent discussions in the epistemology of disagreement have assumed that the question of the proper response to disagreement about p concerns whether you ought to change your doxastic attitude towards p. My conclusion here suggests an alternative approach, on which the question of the proper response to disagreement about p concerns the proper doxastic attitude to adopt concerning the epistemic status of your doxastic attitude towards p. (shrink)
Conciliatory views of disagreement maintain that discovering a particular type of disagreement requires that one make doxastic conciliation. In this paper I give a more formal characterization of such a view. After explaining and motivating this view as the correct view regarding the epistemic significance of disagreement, I proceed to defend it from several objections concerning higher-order evidence (evidence about the character of one's evidence) made by Thomas Kelly (2005).
This paper bridges art history and consciousness studies and investigates the network of gazes and frames in Las Meninas and how this engages with a system of higher-order thoughts and reflexive operations.
This paper argues that higher-order doubt generates an epistemic dilemma. One has a higher-order doubt with regards to P insofar as one justifiably withholds belief as to what attitude towards P is justified. That is, one justifiably withholds belief as to whether one is justified in believing, disbelieving, or withholding belief in P. Using the resources provided by Richard Feldman’s recent discussion of how to respect one’s evidence, I argue that if one has a higher-order doubt with (...) regards to P, then one is not justified in having any attitude towards P. Otherwise put: No attitude towards the doubted proposition respects one’s higher-order doubt. I argue that the most promising response to this problem is to hold that when one has a higher-order doubt about P, the best one can do to respect such a doubt is to simply have no attitude towards P. Higher-order doubt is thus much more rationally corrosive than non-higher-order doubt, as it undermines the possibility of justifiably having any attitude towards the doubted proposition. (shrink)
In The Consciousness Paradox, Rocco Gennaro aims to solve an underlying paradox, namely, how it is possible to hold a number of seemingly inconsistent views, including higher-order thought (HOT) theory, conceptualism, infant and animal ...
Higher Order theories of consciousness have their fair share of sympathisers, but the arguments mustered in their support are—to my mind—unduly persuasive. My aim in this paper is to show that Higher Order theories cannot accommodate the possibility of misrepresentation without either falling into contradiction, or collapsing into a First-Order theory. If this diagnosis is on the right track, then Higher Order theories—at least in the specific versions here considered—fail to give an account of what they set out to explain: (...) what is distinctive of ‘conscious’ phenomena. (shrink)
We discuss the one?many problem as it appears in the Philebus and find that it is not restricted to the usually understood problem about the identity of universals across particulars that instantiate them (the Hylomorphic Dispersal Problem). In fact some of the most interesting aspects of the problem occur purely with respect to the relationship between Forms. We argue that contemporary metaphysicians may draw from the Philebus at least three different one?many relationships between universals themselves: instantiation, subkind and part, and (...) thereby construct three new ?problems of the one and the many? (an Eidetic Dispersal Problem, a Genus?Species Problem, and an Eidetic Combination Problem), which are as problematic as the version generally discussed. We then argue that this taxonomy sheds new and interesting light on certain discussions of higher-order universals in recent Australian analytic philosophy. (shrink)
In his 2009 article “Self-Representationalism and Phenomenology,” Uriah Kriegel argues for self-representationalism about phenomenal consciousness primarily on phenomenological grounds. Kriegel’s argument can naturally be cast more broadly as an argument for higher-order representationalism. I examine this broadened version of Kriegel’s argument in detail and show that it is unsuccessful for two reasons. First, Kriegel’s argument (in its strongest form) relies on an inference to the best explanation from the claim that all experiences of normal adult human beings are accompanied (...) by peripheral awareness of those very experiences to the claim that all experiences are accompanied by peripheral awareness of those very experiences. This inference is inadequately defended, for the explanandum may also be given a straightforward evolutionary explanation. Second, contra Kriegel, I argue that phenomenological investigation does not support the thesis that we are always peripherally aware of our experiences. Instead, it delivers no verdict on this thesis. Kriegel’s phenomenological mistake may be explained via a highly diluted version of the famous transparency thesis about experience. (shrink)
A touchstone of much modern theorizing about the mind is the idea, still tac- itly accepted by many, that a state's being mental implies that it's conscious. This view is epitomized in the dictum, put forth by theorists as otherwise di-.
Situation theory, as developed by Barwise and his collaborators, is used to demonstrate the possibility of defining teleology (and related notions, like that of proper or biological function) in terms of higher order causation, along the lines suggested by Taylor and Wright. This definition avoids the excessive narrowness that results from trying to define teleology in terms of evolutionary history or the effects of natural selection. By legitimating the concept of teleology, this definition also provides promising new avenues for solving (...) long standing problems in the philosophy of mind, such as the problems of intentionality and mental causation. (shrink)
According to higher-order theories of consciousness, a mental state is conscious only when represented by another mental state. Higher-order theories must predict there to be some brain areas (or networks of areas) such that, because they produce (the right kind of) higher-order states, the disabling of them brings about deficits in consciousness. It is commonly thought that the prefrontal cortex produces these kinds of higher-order states. In this paper, I first argue that this is likely correct, (...) meaning that, if some higher-order theory is true, prefrontal lesions should produce dramatic deficits in visual consciousness. I then survey prefrontal lesion data, looking for evidence of such deficits. I argue that no such deficits are to be found, and that this presents a compelling case against higher-order theories. (shrink)
Recently, some philosophers have argued that we should take quantification of any (finite) order to be a legitimate and irreducible, sui generis kind of quantification. In particular, they hold that a semantic theory for higher-order quantification must itself be couched in higher-order terms. Øystein Linnebo has criticized such views on the grounds that they are committed to general claims about the semantic values of expressions that are by their own lights inexpressible. I show that Linnebo’s objection rests on (...) the assumption of a notion of semantic value or contribution which both applies to expressions of any order, and picks out, for each expression, an extra-linguistic correlate of that expression. I go on to argue that higher-orderists can plausibly reject this assumption, by means of a hierarchy of notions they can use to describe the extra-lingustic correlates of expressions of different orders. (shrink)