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  1. added 2020-05-17
    Vagueness and the Logic of the World.Zack Garrett - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
    In this dissertation, I argue that vagueness is a metaphysical phenomenon---that properties and objects can be vague---and propose a trivalent theory of vagueness meant to account for the vagueness in the world. In the first half, I argue against the theories that preserve classical logic. These theories include epistemicism, contextualism, and semantic nihilism. My objections to these theories are independent of considerations of the possibility that vagueness is a metaphysical phenomenon. However, I also argue that these theories are not capable (...)
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  2. added 2020-03-13
    Consonance and Dissonance in Solutions to the Sorites.Nicholas J. J. Smith - forthcoming - In Otavio Bueno & Ali Abasnezhad (eds.), On the Sorites Paradox. Springer.
    A requirement on any theory of vagueness is that it solve the sorites paradox. It is generally agreed that there are two aspects to such a solution: one task is to locate the error in the sorites argument; the second task is to explain why the sorites reasoning is a paradox rather than a simple mistake. I argue for a further constraint on approaches to the second task: they should conform to the standard modus operandi in formal semantics, in which (...)
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  3. added 2019-02-24
    The Representation of Context: Ideas From Artificial Intelligence.James Franklin - 2003 - Law, Probability and Risk 2:191-199.
    To move beyond vague platitudes about the importance of context in legal reasoning or natural language understanding, one must take account of ideas from artificial intelligence on how to represent context formally. Work on topics like prior probabilities, the theory-ladenness of observation, encyclopedic knowledge for disambiguation in language translation and pathology test diagnosis has produced a body of knowledge on how to represent context in artificial intelligence applications.
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  4. added 2019-01-25
    Theories of Vagueness and Theories of Law.Alex Silk - 2019 - Legal Theory 25 (2):132-152.
    It is common to think that what theory of linguistic vagueness is correct has implications for debates in philosophy of law. I disagree. I argue that the implications of particular theories of vagueness on substantive issues of legal theory and practice are less far-reaching than often thought. I focus on four putative implications discussed in the literature concerning (i) the value of vagueness in the law, (ii) the possibility and value of legal indeterminacy, (iii) the possibility of the rule of (...)
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  5. added 2018-11-20
    Vagueness, Indiscernibility, and Pragmatics: Comments on Burns.Achille C. Varzi - 1995 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 33 (Supplement):49-62.
    In ‘Something to Do with Vagueness ...’, Linda Burns defends an analogy between the informational and the borderline-case variety of vagueness. She argues that the latter is in fact less extraordinary and less disastrous than people in the tradition of Michael Dummett and Crispin Wright have told us. However, her account involves presuppositions that cannot be taken for granted. Here we take a closer look at some of these presuppositions and argue that they may—when left unguarded—undermine much of Burns’ general (...)
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  6. added 2017-08-16
    It’s Chicken and Eggs Again: Vagueness, Quasi-Species, and Evolution.Ludger Jansen - 2006 - Conceptus: Zeitschrift Fur Philosophie 36 (89):71-77.
    Wether the chicken or the egg came first, is not only a mind-boggling but a substantial question. Its answer depends on the biological background theory one assumes. I review recent work on the topic (by Teichmann, Sorensen, Waller and Raatzsch) and resolve some of the disputes between these authors by borrowing from Aristotle the distinction between chicken-producing eggs. I then introduce the concept of a quasi-species to make explicit the vagueness involved in species-terms and prove 13 different priority-claims within a (...)
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  7. added 2017-08-05
    Une théorie unifiée de la vérité et de la référence.Barry Smith & Berit Brogaard - 2004 - In J. M. Monnoyer (ed.), La Structure du Monde: Objets, Propriétés, États du Choses. Paris: Vrin. pp. 141-184.
    The truthmaker theory rests on the thesis that the link between a true judgment and that in the world to which it corresponds is not a one-to-one but rather a one-to-many relation. An analogous thesis in relation to the link between a singular term and that in the world to which it refers is already widely accepted. This is the thesis to the effect that singular reference is marked by vagueness of a sort that is best understood in supervaluationist terms. (...)
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  8. added 2017-02-14
    Context, Vagueness, and Ontology.Mark Richard - 2006 - In Patrick Greenough & Michael P. Lynch (eds.), Truth and Realism. Oxford University Press. pp. 162.
  9. added 2017-02-13
    Stewart Et Al.Known User’S. - 1994 - In Stephen Everson (ed.), Language. Cambridge University Press.
  10. added 2017-02-02
    Vague Predicates and Language Games.Rohit Parikh - 1996 - Theoria 11 (3):97-107.
    Attempts to give a Logic or Semantics for vague predicates and to defuse the Sorites paradoxes have been largely a failure. We point out yet another problem with these predicates which has not been remarked on before,namely that different people do and must use these predicates in individually different ways. Thus even if there were a semantics for vague predicates, people would not be able to share it. To explain the occurrence nonetheless of these troublesome predicates in language, we propose (...)
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  11. added 2017-01-31
    Vague Predicates and Language Games.Rohit Parikh - 1996 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 11 (3):97-107.
    Attempts to give a Logic or Semantics for vague predicates and to defuse the Sorites paradoxes have been largely a failure. We point out yet another problem with these predicates which has not been remarked on before,namely that different people do and must use these predicates in individually different ways. Thus even if there were a semantics for vague predicates, people would not be able to share it. To explain the occurrence nonetheless of these troublesome predicates in language, we propose (...)
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  12. added 2017-01-31
    Some Remarks on Vague Predicates.Josep-María Terricabras & Enric Trillas - 1988 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 4 (1):1-12.
    This paper has a very limited scope: it just presents some eIements which may introduce us into a wider investigation on vague predicates. Thus, webegin by pointing out our general conception of Iogic. After that, we build up our approach by considering characteristic functions and by trying to make useful the model of logical extension which applies to classical quantifiers.
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  13. added 2017-01-26
    Vagueness and Contextualism.Joanna Odrowaz-Sypniewska - 2010 - In Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.), Objects of Inquiry in Philosophy of Language and Linguistics. Ontos Verlag. pp. 1--169.
  14. added 2017-01-25
    Some Remarks on Vague Predicates.Josep Maria Terricabras Nogueras & Enrique Trillas Ruiz - 1988 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 4 (1):1-12.
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  15. added 2017-01-24
    Review of Vagueness.Adam Morton - 1995 - Philosophical Books 36 (4):272-276.
  16. added 2017-01-22
    Fuzziness €“ Vagueness- Generality - Ambiguity.Qiao Zhang - 1998 - Journal of Pragmatics 29 (1):13--31.
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  17. added 2017-01-20
    Temporal Propositions as Vague Predicates.Tim Fernando - unknown
    The idea that temporal propositions are vague predicates is examined with attention to the nature of the objects over which the predicates range. These objects should not, it is argued, be identified once and for all with points or intervals in the real line (or any fixed linear order). Context has an important role to play not only in sidestepping the Sorites paradox (Gaifman 2002) but also in shaping temporal moments/extent (Landman 1991). The Russell-Wiener construction of time from events (Kamp (...)
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  18. added 2017-01-20
    Sorites Paradox and Conscious Experience.Tamás Pólya & László Tarnay - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (1):165-165.
    The theory of consciousness proposed by O'Brien & Opie is open to the Sorites paradox, for it defines a consciousness system internally in terms of computationally relevant units which add up to consciousness only if sufficient in number. The Sorites effect applies on the assumed level of features.
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  19. added 2017-01-12
    Vague Disagreements and the Sorites Paradox.Ted Everett - forthcoming - In Otavio Bueno & Ali Abasnezhad (eds.), Logic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science 33: On the Sorites Paradox. New York: Springer.
    When you and I seriously argue over whether a man of seventy is old enough to count as an "old man", it seems that we are appealing neither to our own separate standards of oldness nor to a common standard that is already fixed in the language. Instead, it seems that both of us implicitly invoke an ideal, shared standard that has yet to be agreed upon: the place where we ought to draw the line. As with other normative standards, (...)
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  20. added 2016-12-12
    Transvaluationism.Terry Horgan - 2006 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 14 (1):20-35.
    I advocate a two part view concerning vagueness. On one hand I claim that vagueness is logically incoherent; but on the other hand I claim that vagueness is also a benign, beneficial, and indeed essential feature of human language and thought. I will call this view transvaluationism, a name which seems to me appropriate for several reasons. First, the term suggests that we should move beyond the idea that the successive statements in a sorites sequence can be assigned differing truth (...)
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  21. added 2016-12-12
    Understanding Truth.Scott Soames - 1998 - Oxford University Press USA.
    In this book, Scott Soames illuminates the notion of truth and the role it plays in our ordinary thought as well as in our logical, philosophical, and scientific theories. Soames aims to integrate and deepen the most significant insights on truth from a variety of sources. He powerfully brings together the best technical work and the most important philosophical reflection on truth and shows how each can illuminate the other. Investigating such questions as whether we need a truth predicate at (...)
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  22. added 2016-12-08
    Contextualism and the Principle of Tolerance.Paula Sweeney - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 90 (1):289-306.
    When we bring together certain plausible and compatible principles guiding the use of vague predicates the inclination to accept that vague predicates are tolerant is significantly weakened. As the principle of tolerance is a troublesome, paradox inducing principle, a theory giving a satisfactory account of the nature of vague predicates and accounting for the appeal of the sorites paradox, without recourse to the principle of tolerance is a worthy addition to the vagueness debate. The theory offered, Contextual Intolerance, draws considerably (...)
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  23. added 2016-12-08
    Reasoning with Slippery Predicates.Stewart Shapiro - 2008 - Studia Logica 90 (3):313-336.
    It is a commonplace that the extensions of most, perhaps all, vague predicates vary with such features as comparison class and paradigm and contrasting cases. My view proposes another, more pervasive contextual parameter. Vague predicates exhibit what I call open texture: in some circumstances, competent speakers can go either way in the borderline region. The shifting extension and anti-extensions of vague predicates are tracked by what David Lewis calls the “conversational score”, and are regulated by what Kit Fine calls penumbral (...)
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  24. added 2016-10-14
    Context, Indexicals and the Sorites.J. Ellis - 2004 - Analysis 64 (4):362-364.
    I defend contextualist solutions to the sorites paradox (according to which solutions vague terms are indexicals) from a recent objection raised by Jason Stanley. Stanley's argument depends on the claim that indexical expressions always have invariant interpretations in "Verb Phrase" ellipsis. I argue that this claim is false.
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  25. added 2016-08-29
    Forced‐March Sorites Arguments and Linguistic Competence.Jonas Åkerman - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (4):403-426.
    Agent relativists about vagueness (henceforth ‘agent relativists’) hold that whether or not an object x falls in the extension of a vague predicate ‘P’ at a time t depends on the judgemental dispositions of a particular competent agent at t. My aim in this paper is to critically examine arguments that purport to support agent relativism by appealing to data from forced-march Sorites experiments. The most simple and direct versions of such forced-march Sorites arguments rest on the following (implicit) premise: (...)
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  26. added 2016-08-26
    Tolerance Effect in Categorisation with Vague Predicates.Minyao Huang - 2013 - Pragmatics and Cognition 21 (2):340-358.
    Vagueness is understood as the problem of associating imprecise application criteria with ordinary predicates such as ‘bald’ or ‘blue’. It is often construed as due to one’s tolerance to a minute difference in forming a verdict on the application of a vague predicate. This paper reports an experiment conducted to test the effect of tolerance, using as paradigm categorisation tasks performed with respect to transitional series, e.g., a series of tomatoes from red to orange. The findings suggest a negative effect (...)
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  27. added 2016-08-26
    4. Contradictorial Gradualism Vs. Discontinuism: Two Views On Fuzziness And The Transition Problem.Marcelo VÁsconez - 2006 - Logique Et Analyse 49 (195).
    The dissertation has two parts, each dealing with a problem, namely: 1) What is the most adequate account of fuzziness -the so-called phenomenon of vagueness?, and 2) what is the most plausible solution to the sorites, or heap paradox? I will try to show that fuzzy properties are those which are gradual, amenable to be possessed in a greater or smaller extent. Acknowledgement of degrees in the instantiation of a property allows for a gradual transition from one opposite to the (...)
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  28. added 2016-03-16
    Essays on Linguistic Context Sensitivity and its Philosophical Significance.Steven Gross - 2001 - Routledge.
    Drawing upon research in philosophical logic, linguistics and cognitive science, this study explores how our ability to use and understand language depends upon our capacity to keep track of complex features of the contexts in which we converse.
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  29. added 2016-02-25
    Relativism, Vagueness and What is Said.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2008 - In G. Carpintero & M. Koelbel (eds.), Relative Truth. Oxford University Press. pp. 129.
    John MacFarlane has formulated a version of truth-relativism, and argued for its application in some cases – future contingents, knowledge attributions and epistemic modals among them. Mark Richard also defends a version of relativism, which he applies to vagueness-inducing features of the semantics of gradable adjectives. On MacFarlane’s and Richard’s characterization, truth-relativist claims posit a distinctive kind of context-dependence, the dependence of the evaluation of an assertion as true or otherwise on aspects of the context of the evaluation itself – (...)
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  30. added 2015-09-14
    Inconstancy and Inconsistency.David Ripley - 2011 - In Petr Cintula, Christian Fermuller, Lluis Godo & Petr Hajek (eds.), Reasoning Under Vagueness. College Publications. pp. 41-58.
    In everyday language, we can call someone ‘consistent’ to say that they’re reliable, that they don’t change over time. Someone who’s consistently on time is always on time. Similarly, we can call someone ‘inconsistent’ to say the opposite: that they’re changeable, mercurial. A student who receives inconsistent grades on her tests throughout a semester has performed better on some than on others. With our philosophy hats on, though, we mean something quite different by ‘consistent’ and ‘inconsistent’. Something consistent is simply (...)
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  31. added 2015-09-03
    Patrick Greenough.Stewart Shapiro & Patrick Greenough - 2005 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 79 (1):167-190.
  32. added 2015-03-24
    Hold the Context Fixed - Vagueness Still Remains.Jonas Åkerman & Greenough & Patrick - 2010 - In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic. Oxford University Press.
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  33. added 2015-03-23
    Stewart Shapiro, Vagueness in Context Reviewed By.Marion Ledwig - 2008 - Philosophy in Review 28 (2):150-152.
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  34. added 2015-03-23
    Stewart Shapiro, Vagueness in Context.M. Ledwig - 2008 - Philosophy in Review 28 (2):150.
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  35. added 2015-03-19
    On the Epistemic Status of Borderline Cases.Zoltán Vecsey - 2012 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 16 (1):179-184.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/1808-1711.2012v16n1p179 Neste artigo, sustento que a explicação epistemicista da vagueza não pode estar inteiramente correta. Depois de analisar os aspectos principais da concepção de Williamson, proponho uma nova abordagem ao problema epistemológico dos casos fronteiriços.
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  36. added 2015-02-11
    Fuzzy Logics in Theories of Vagueness.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2015 - In Petr Cintula, Christian Fermüller & Carles Noguera (eds.), Handbook of Mathematical Fuzzy Logic - Volume 3. College Publications.
  37. added 2014-10-10
    Vagueness, Indiscernibility, and Pragmatics: Comments on Burns.Achille C. Varzi - 1994 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 33 (S1):49-49.
    In ‘Something to Do with Vagueness ...’, Linda Burns defends an analogy between the informational and the borderline-case variety of vagueness. She argues that the latter is in fact less extraordinary and less disastrous than people in the tradition of Michael Dummett and Crispin Wright have told us. However, her account involves presuppositions that cannot be taken for granted. Here is to take a closer look at some of these presuppositions and argue hat they may—when left unguarded—undermine much of Burns’ (...)
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  38. added 2014-04-02
    Vagueness, Indiscernibility, and Pragmatics: Comments on Burns.Achille C. Varzi - 1995 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 33 (Supplement):49-62.
    In ‘Something to Do with Vagueness ...’, Linda Burns defends an analogy between the informational and the borderline-case variety of vagueness. She argues that the latter is in fact less extraordinary and less disastrous than people in the tradition of Michael Dummett and Crispin Wright have told us. However, her account involves presuppositions that cannot be taken for granted. Here is to take a closer look at some of these presuppositions and argue hat they may--when left unguarded--undermine much of Burns’ (...)
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  39. added 2014-03-29
    Vagueness and Non-Indexical Contextualism.Jonas Åkerman & Patrick Greenough - 2009 - 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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  40. added 2014-03-29
    Shifting Sands: An Interest Relative Theory of Vagueness.Delia Graff Fara - 2000 - Philosophical Topics 28 (1):45--81.
    I propose that the meanings of vague expressions render the truth conditions of utterances of sentences containing them sensitive to our interests. For example, 'expensive' is analyzed as meaning 'costs a lot', which in turn is analyzed as meaning 'costs significantly greater than the norm'. Whether a difference is a significant difference depends on what our interests are. Appeal to the proposal is shown to provide an attractive resolution of the sorites paradox that is compatible with classical logic and semantics.
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  41. added 2014-03-26
    Vagueness and Context-Relativity.Diana Raffman - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 81 (2-3):175 - 192.
    This paper develops the treatment of vague predicates begun in my "Vagueness Without Paradox" (Philosophical Review 103, 1 [1994]). In particular, I show how my account of vague words dissolves an "eternal" version of the sorites paradox, i.e., a version in which the paradox is generated independently of any particular run of judgments of the items in a sorites series. In so doing I refine the notion of an internal contest, introduced in the earlier paper, and draw a distinction within (...)
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  42. added 2014-03-23
    Theories of Vagueness.Diana Raffman & Stewart Shapiro - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (2):259-262.
    The goal of this book is to defend a supervaluationist theory of vagueness. Keefe begins by laying out a series of desiderata for an adequate theory of vagueness generally: among other things, such a theory will need to solve the sorites paradox, provide a plausible analysis of borderline cases, preserve so-called penumbral connections among borderline predications, accommodate the phenomenon of higher-order vagueness, and comport with as many of our ordinary linguistic intuitions as possible. She then proceeds to evaluate in turn (...)
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  43. added 2014-03-17
    Vagueness in Context.Stewart Shapiro - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
    Stewart Shapiro's ambition in Vagueness in Context is to develop a comprehensive account of the meaning, function, and logic of vague terms in an idealized version of a natural language like English. It is a commonplace that the extensions of vague terms vary according to their context: a person can be tall with respect to male accountants and not tall (even short) with respect to professional basketball players. The key feature of Shapiro's account is that the extensions of vague terms (...)
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  44. added 2014-03-15
    Vagueness Without Context Change.Rosanna Keefe - 2007 - Mind 116 (462):275-292.
    In this paper I offer a critique of the recent popular strategy of giving a contextualist account of vagueness. Such accounts maintain that truth-values of vague sentences can change with changes of context induced by confronting different entities (e.g. different pairs through a sorites series). I claim that appealing to context does not help in solving the sorites paradox, nor does it give us new insights into vagueness per se. Furthermore, the contextual variation to which the contextualist is committed is (...)
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  45. added 2014-03-13
    Semivaluationism: Putting Vagueness in Context in Context.Roy Sorensen - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (2):471–483.
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  46. added 2014-03-12
    Solving the Heap.Ruth Manor - 2006 - Synthese 153 (2):171 - 186.
    The present offers a pragmatic solution of the Heap Paradox, based on the idea that vague predicates are “indexical” in the sense that their denotation does not only depend on the context of their use, but it is a function of the context. The analysis is based on the following three claims. The borderlines of vague terms are undetermined in the sense that though they may be determined in some contexts, they may differ from one context to the next. Vagueness (...)
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  47. added 2014-03-06
    Stewart Shapiro. Context, Conversation, and so-Called 'Higher-Order Vagueness'.Stewart Shapiro & Patrick Greenough - 2005 - 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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  48. added 2014-02-18
    The Sorites, Linguistic Preconceptions, and the Dual Picture of Vagueness.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2010 - In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and Clouds. Vagueness, its Nature and its Logic. Oxford University Press. pp. 228-253.
    I postulate that the extension of a degree adjective is fixed by implicitly accepted non-analytic reference-fixing principles (“preconceptions”) that combine appeals to paradigmatic cases with generic principles designed to expand the extension of the adjective beyond the paradigmatic range. In regular occasions of use, the paradigm and generic preconceptions are jointly satisfied and determine the existence of an extension/anti-extension pair dividing the adjective’s comparison class into two mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive subclasses. Sorites paradoxical occasions of use are irregular occasions (...)
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  49. added 2014-02-18
    Higher-Order Vagueness, Radical Unclarity, and Absolute Agnosticism.Susanne Bobzien - 2010 - Philosophers' Imprint 10:1-30.
    The paper presents a new theory of higher-order vagueness. 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-order vagueness that is compositional, but (iv) avoids the paradoxes of higher-order vagueness. The theory’s central building-blocks: Borderlinehood is defined as radical unclarity. Unclarity is defined by means of competent, rational, informed speakers (‘CRISPs’) whose (...)
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  50. added 2014-02-10
    Vagueness-Related Partial Belief and the Constitution of Borderline Cases. [REVIEW]Crispin Wright - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):225–232.
    For all post-1970s effort expended on the topic, the most central and important question about vagueness—what it is: what, specifically, something’s being a borderline case of a vague expression consists in—has seldom been tackled with the theoretical explicitness necessary if issues expectably downstream of it, like the nature of valid inference among vague statements, or the Sorites paradox, are to receive a properly motivated treatment. The great interest of Chapter V of The Things We Mean is that it points the (...)
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