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  1. Vagueness Without Indefiniteness.Gerald Hull - manuscript
    Contemporary discussions do not always clearly distinguish two different forms of vagueness. Sometimes focus is on the imprecision of predicates, and sometimes the indefiniteness of statements. The two are intimately related, of course. A predicate is imprecise if there are instances to which it neither definitely applies nor definitely does not apply, instances of which it is neither definitely true nor definitely false. However, indefinite statements will occur in everyday discourse only if speakers in fact apply imprecise predicates to such (...)
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  2. Fine on the Possibility of Vagueness.Andreas Ditter - forthcoming - In Federico L. G. Faroldi & Frederik van De Putte (eds.), Outstanding Contributions to Logic: Kit Fine.
    Fine (2017) proposes a new logic of vagueness, CL, that promises to provide both a solution to the sorites paradox and a way to avoid the impossibility result from Fine (2008). The present paper presents a challenge to his new theory of vagueness. I argue that the possibility theorem stated in Fine (2017), as well as his solution to the sorites paradox, fail in certain reasonable extensions of the language of CL. More specifically, I show that if we extend the (...)
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  3. Vagueness and Language Use, Palgrave Studies in Pragmatics, Language and Cognition.Paul Egré & Klinedinst Nathan (eds.) - forthcoming - Palgrave-Macmillan.
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  4. Neutralism and the Observational Sorites Paradox.Patrick Greenough - forthcoming - In Ali Abasnezhad & Otavio Bueno (eds.), Synthese Special Edition. Springer.
    Neutralism is the broad view that philosophical progress can take place when (and sometimes only when) a thoroughly neutral, non-specific theory, treatment, or methodology is adopted. The broad goal here is to articulate a distinct, specific kind of sorites paradox (The Observational Sorites Paradox) and show that it can be effectively treated via Neutralism.
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  5. Vagueness.Hans Kamp & Galit W. Sassoon - forthcoming - In Paul Dekker Maria Aloni (ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Formal Semantics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 389-441.
    Vagueness is an ultimate challenge. An enormous diversity of literature on the topic has accumulated over the years, with no hint of a consensus emerging. In this light, Section 1 presents the main aspects of the challenge vagueness poses, focusing on the category of adjectives, and then gives some brief illustrations of the pervasive manifestations of vagueness in grammar.Section 2 deals with theSorites paradox, which for many philosophers is the hallmark of vagueness: By assigning avague predicate step by apparently inescapable (...)
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  6. Vagueness in Communication.Rick Nouwen, Robert van Rooij, Uli Sauerland & Hans-Christian Schmitz (eds.) - forthcoming - Springer.
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  7. 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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  8. The Conflict of Rigidity and Precision in Designation.Daniele Bertini - 2020 - Logos and Episteme: An International Journal of Epistemology 11 (1):19-27.
    My paper provides reasons in support of the view that vague identity claims originate from a conflict between rigidity and precision in designation. To put this stricly, let x be the referent of the referential terms P and Q. Then, that the proposition “that any x being both a P and a Q” is vague involves that the semantic intuitions at work in P and Q reveal a conflict between P and Q being simultaneously rigid and precise designators. After having (...)
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  9. Note on Sorites Series.Friedrich Wilhelm Grafe - 2020 - Archive.Org.
    Vagueness does not necessarily come in with vague predicates, nor need it be expressed by them , but undoubtedly 'vague predicates' are traditionally in the focus of main stream discussions of vagueness. In her current modal logic presentation and discussion of the Sorites paradox Susanne Bobzien[1] lists among the properties of a Sorites series a rather weak modal tolerance principle governing the 'grey zone' containing the borderline cases of the Sorites series, which later proves crucial for her solution of the (...)
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  10. Vagueness and Thought. [REVIEW]John MacFarlane - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (1):153-158.
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  11. Plurivaluationism, supersententialism and the problem of the many languages.Rohan Sud - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1697-1723.
    According to the plurivaluationist, our vague discourse doesn’t have a single meaning. Instead, it has many meanings, each of which is precise—and it is this plurality of meanings that is the source of vagueness. I believe plurivaluationist positions are underdeveloped and for this reason unpopular. This paper attempts to correct this situation by offering a particular development of plurivaluationism that I call supersententialism. The supersententialist leverages lessons from another area of research—the Problem of the Many—in service of the plurivaluationist position. (...)
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  12. Quantum Metaphysical Indeterminacy.Claudio Calosi & Jessica Wilson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (10):2599–2627.
    On many currently live interpretations, quantum mechanics violates the classical supposition of value definiteness, according to which the properties of a given particle or system have precise values at all times. Here we consider whether either metaphysical supervaluationist or determinable-based approaches to metaphysical indeterminacy can accommodate quantum metaphysical indeterminacy (QMI). We start by discussing the standard theoretical indicator of QMI, and distinguishing three seemingly different sources of QMI (S1). We then show that previous arguments for the conclusion that metaphysical supervaluationism (...)
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  13. Andrew Bacon: Vagueness and Thought. [REVIEW]Dorothy Edgington - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (12):691-698.
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  14. Incoherentism and the Sorites Paradox.Matti Eklund - 2019 - In Elia Zardini & Sergi Oms (eds.), The Sorites Paradox.
  15. The Pre-Analytic History of the Sorites Paradox.Ricardo Santos - 2019 - In Sergi Oms & Elia Zardini (eds.), The Sorites Paradox. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 289-306.
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  16. Vagueness and Thought.Andrew Bacon - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    Vagueness is the study of concepts that admit borderline cases. The epistemology of vagueness concerns attitudes we should have towards propositions we know to be borderline. On this basis Andrew Bacon develops a new theory of vagueness in which vagueness is fundamentally a property of propositions, explicated in terms of its role in thought.
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  17. Cómo pensar sobre otra cosa.Axel Barceló - 2018 - In Max A. Freund, Max Fernandez de Castro & Marco Ruffino (eds.), Logic and Philosophy of Logic: Recent Trends in Latin America and Spain. London, UK: College Publications.
    Pronpongo una nueva manera de concebir la aceptación de proposiciones y su relación con la creencia y la inferencia. Argumento además que adoptar esta propuesta nos permite resolver de manera relativamente sencilla algunas paradojas aparentemente tan disímbolas cómo la del prefacio, la lotería y el sorites. Según esta propuesta, el error detrás de la paradoja sorítica es pensar que quién cree que hay una línea divisoria entre lo que cae dentro de la extensión de un término y lo que cae (...)
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  18. Vagueness.Anna Mahtani - 2018 - In Tim Crane (ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online.
    In ordinary conversation, we describe all sorts of different things as vague: you can have vague plans, vague ideas and vague aches and pains. In philosophy of language, in contrast, it is parts of language – words, expressions and so on – that are said to be vague. One classic example of a vague term is the word ‘heap’. A single grain clearly does not make a heap, and a million grains does make a heap, but where exactly does the (...)
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  19. A New Semantics for Vagueness.Joshua D. K. Brown & James W. Garson - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (1):65-85.
    Intuitively, vagueness involves some sort of indeterminacy: if Plato is a borderline case of baldness, then there is no fact of the matter about whether or not he’s bald—he’s neither bald nor not bald. The leading formal treatments of such indeterminacy—three valued logic, supervaluationism, etc.—either fail to validate the classical theorems, or require that various classically valid inference rules be restricted. Here we show how a fully classical, yet indeterminist account of vagueness can be given within natural semantics, an alternative (...)
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  20. Imprecise Probability and Higher Order Vagueness.Susanna Rinard - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (2):257-273.
    There is a trade-off between specificity and accuracy in existing models of belief. Descriptions of agents in the tripartite model, which recognizes only three doxastic attitudes—belief, disbelief, and suspension of judgment—are typically accurate, but not sufficiently specific. The orthodox Bayesian model, which requires real-valued credences, is perfectly specific, but often inaccurate: we often lack precise credences. I argue, first, that a popular attempt to fix the Bayesian model by using sets of functions is also inaccurate, since it requires us to (...)
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  21. Vagueness and Zombies: Why ‘Phenomenally Conscious’ has No Borderline Cases.Jonathan A. Simon - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (8):2105-2123.
    I argue that there can be no such thing as a borderline case of the predicate ‘phenomenally conscious’: for any given creature at any given time, it cannot be vague whether that creature is phenomenally conscious at that time. I first defend the Positive Characterization Thesis, which says that for any borderline case of any predicate there is a positive characterization of that case that can show any sufficiently competent speaker what makes it a borderline case. I then appeal to (...)
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  22. Vagueness & Modality—An Ecumenical Approach.Jon Erling Litland & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):229-269.
    How does vagueness interact with metaphysical modality and with restrictions of it, such as nomological modality? In particular, how do definiteness, necessity (understood as restricted in some way or not), and actuality interact? This paper proposes a model-theoretic framework for investigating the logic and semantics of that interaction. The framework is put forward in an ecumenical spirit: it is intended to be applicable to all theories of vagueness that express vagueness using a definiteness (or: determinacy) operator. We will show how (...)
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  23. The Non-Conservativeness of Legal Definitions.Marc Andree Weber - 2016 - In Geert Keil & Ralf Poscher (eds.), Vagueness and Law. Philosophical and Legal Perspectives . Oxford, UK: pp. 189–203.
    What philosophers have in mind when they think about vagueness are sorites cases. Unlike vague scientific or artificial expressions, however, vague natural language expressions do not display the kind of vagueness that we associate with the sorites; they rather display what I call cluster vagueness. A non-trivial consequence of this is that those legal definitions that state precisifications of natural language concepts not only add aspects of meaning to existing expressions but also effectively change the meanings of these expressions. From (...)
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  24. Vagueness: Why Do We Believe in Tolerance?Paul Égré - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (6):663-679.
    The tolerance principle, the idea that vague predicates are insensitive to sufficiently small changes, remains the main bone of contention between theories of vagueness. In this paper I examine three sources behind our ordinary belief in the tolerance principle, to establish whether any of them might give us a good reason to revise classical logic. First, I compare our understanding of tolerance in the case of precise predicates and in the case of vague predicates. While tolerance in the case of (...)
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  25. Vagueza.Ricardo Santos - 2015 - Compêndio Em Linha de Problemas de Filosofia Analítica.
    Most words in natural language are vague, that is to say, they lack sharp boundaries and, hence, they have (actual or potential) borderline cases, where the word in question neither definitely applies nor definitely fails to apply. Vagueness gives rise to paradoxes, the best known of which is the sorites (concerned with how many grains of sand are needed to make a heap). Besides offering a solution to such paradoxes, a theory of vagueness should systematically describe how the truth conditions (...)
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  26. Vague Objects with Sharp Boundaries.Jiri Benovsky - 2014 - Ratio 27 (1):29-39.
    In this article I shall consider two seemingly contradictory claims: first, the claim that everybody who thinks that there are ordinary objects has to accept that they are vague, and second, the claim that everybody has to accept the existence of sharp boundaries to ordinary objects. The purpose of this article is of course not to defend a contradiction. Indeed, there is no contradiction because the two claims do not concern the same ‘everybody’. The first claim, that all ordinary objects (...)
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  27. Higher-Order Vagueness and Numbers of Distinct Modalities.Susanne Bobzien - 2014 - Disputatio (39):131-137.
    This paper shows that the following common assumption is false: that in modal-logical representations of higher-order vagueness, for there to be borderline cases to borderline cases ad infinitum, the number of possible distinct modalities in a modal system must be infinite. (Open access journal).
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  28. Semantic Plasticity and Speech Reports.Cian Dorr & John Hawthorne - 2014 - Philosophical Review 123 (3):281-338.
    Most meanings we express belong to large families of variant meanings, among which it would be implausible to suppose that some are much more apt for being expressed than others. This abundance of candidate meanings creates pressure to think that the proposition attributing any particular meaning to an expression is modally plastic: its truth depends very sensitively on the exact microphysical state of the world. However, such plasticity seems to threaten ordinary counterfactuals whose consequents contain speech reports, since it is (...)
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  29. Unruly Words: A Study of Vague Language.Diana Raffman - 2014 - Oup Usa.
    In Unruly Words, Diana Raffman advances a new theory of vagueness which, unlike previous accounts, is genuinely semantic while preserving bivalence. According to this new approach, called the multiple range theory, vagueness consists essentially in a term's being applicable in multiple arbitrarily different, but equally competent, ways, even when contextual factors are fixed.
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  30. Review of Elijah Millgram's Hard Truths. [REVIEW]Cory Wright - 2014 - Mind 123 (492):1218-1221.
  31. Higher-Order Vagueness and Borderline Nestings: A Persistent Confusion.Susanne Bobzien - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (1):1-43.
    ABSTRACT: This paper argues that the so-called paradoxes of higher-order vagueness are the result of a confusion between higher-order vagueness and the distribution of the objects of a Sorites series into extensionally non-overlapping non-empty classes.
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  32. Modelling Comparative Concepts in Conceptual Spaces.Lieven Decock, Richard Dietz & Igor Douven - 2013 - In Y. Motomura, Y. Butler & D. Bekki (eds.), New Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence, LNAI 7856. Springer. pp. 69-86.
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  33. Como Explicar o Fenómeno da Vagueza?Domingos Faria - 2013 - Investigação Filosófica 1.
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  34. Revising Up: Strengthening Classical Logic in the Face of Paradox.David Ripley - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13.
    This paper provides a defense of the full strength of classical logic, in a certain form, against those who would appeal to semantic paradox or vagueness in an argument for a weaker logic. I will not argue that these paradoxes are based on mistaken principles; the approach I recommend will extend a familiar formulation of classical logic by including a fully transparent truth predicate and fully tolerant vague predicates. It has been claimed that these principles are not compatible with classical (...)
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  35. Vagueness Intuitions and the Mobility of Cognitive Sortals.Bert Baumgaertner - 2012 - Minds and Machines 22 (3):213-234.
    One feature of vague predicates is that, as far as appearances go, they lack sharp application boundaries. I argue that we would not be able to locate boundaries even if vague predicates had sharp boundaries. I do so by developing an idealized cognitive model of a categorization faculty which has mobile and dynamic sortals (`classes', `concepts' or `categories') and formally prove that the degree of precision with which boundaries of such sortals can be located is inversely constrained by their flexibility. (...)
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  36. Tolerant, Classical, Strict.Pablo Cobreros, Paul Egré, David Ripley & Robert van Rooij - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (2):347-385.
    In this paper we investigate a semantics for first-order logic originally proposed by R. van Rooij to account for the idea that vague predicates are tolerant, that is, for the principle that if x is P, then y should be P whenever y is similar enough to x. The semantics, which makes use of indifference relations to model similarity, rests on the interaction of three notions of truth: the classical notion, and two dual notions simultaneously defined in terms of it, (...)
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  37. Cuts and Clouds.J. Collins - 2012 - Analysis 72 (1):138-145.
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  38. Does Vagueness Exclude Knowledge?David Barnett - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):22 - 45.
    On two standard views of vagueness, vagueness as to whether Harry is bald entails that nobody knows whether Harry is bald—either because vagueness is a type of missing truth, and so there is nothing to know, or because vagueness is a type of ignorance, and so even though there is a truth of the matter, nobody can know what that truth is. Vagueness as to whether Harry is bald does entail that nobody clearly knows that Harry is bald and that (...)
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  39. Recent Work on Vagueness.M. Eklund - 2011 - Analysis 71 (2):352-363.
    Vagueness, as discussed in the philosophical literature, is the phenomenon that paradigmatically rears its head in the sorites paradox, one prominent version of which is: One grain of sand does not make a heap. For any n, if n grains of sand do not make a heap, then n + 1 grains of sand do not make a heap. So, ten billion grains of sand do not make a heap. It is common ground that the different versions of the sorites (...)
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  40. Vagueness and Subjective Attitudes.Carter Eric - 2011 - Tampa Papers in Linguistics 2:47-64.
  41. Contradictions at the Borders.David Ripley - 2011 - In Rick Nouwen, Robert van Rooij, Uli Sauerland & Hans-Christian Schmitz (eds.), Vagueness in Communication. Springer. pp. 169--188.
    The purpose of this essay is to shed some light on a certain type of sentence, which I call a borderline contradiction. A borderline contradiction is a sentence of the form F a ∧ ¬F a, for some vague predicate F and some borderline case a of F , or a sentence equivalent to such a sentence. For example, if Jackie is a borderline case of ‘rich’, then ‘Jackie is rich and Jackie isn’t rich’ is a borderline contradiction. Many theories (...)
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  42. Vagueness and Naturalness.Ross P. Cameron - 2010 - Erkenntnis 72 (2):281-293.
    I attempt to accommodate the phenomenon of vagueness with classical logic and bivalence. I hold that for any vague predicate there is a sharp cut-off between the things that satisfy it and the things that do not; I claim that this is due to the greater naturalness of one of the candidate meanings of that predicate. I extend the thought to the problem of the many and Benacerraf cases. I go on to explore the idea that it is ontically indeterminate (...)
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  43. Review of Richard Dietz, Sebastiano Moruzzi (Eds.), Cuts and Clouds: Vagueness, its Nature, and its Logic[REVIEW]Pablo Cobreros - 2010 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (12).
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  44. Vagueness and Language Use.Paul Égré & Nathan Klinedinst (eds.) - 2010 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    This volume brings together twelve papers by linguists and philosophers contributing novel empirical and formal considerations to theorizing about vagueness. Three main issues are addressed: gradable expressions and comparison, the semantics of degree adverbs and intensifiers (such as 'clearly'), and ways of evading the sorites paradox.
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  45. 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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  46. Truth-Functional and Penumbral Intuitions.Sergi Oms - 2010 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 25 (2):137-147.
    Two of the main intuitions that underlie the phenomenon of vagueness are the truth-functional and the penumbral intuitions. After presenting and contrasting them, I will put forward Tappenden's gappy approach to vagueness (which takes into account the truth-functional intuition). I will contrast Tappenden'sview with another of the theories of vagueness that see it as a semantic phenomenon: Supervaluationism (which takes into account the penumbral intuition). Then I will analyze some objections to Tappenden's approach and some objections to Supervaluationism. Finally, I (...)
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  47. Vagueness and Central Gaps.Peter Pagin - 2010 - In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic. Oxford University Press.
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  48. A Metasemantic Account of Vagueness.Augustin Rayo - 2010 - In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and Clouds: Vagueness, its Nature, and its Logic. Oxford University Press. pp. 23--45.
    I argue for an account of vagueness according to which the root of vagueness lies not in the type of semantic-value that is best associated with an expression, but in the type of linguistic practice that renders the expression meaningful. I suggest, in particular, that conventions about how to use sentences involving attributions of vague predicates to borderline cases prevail to a lesser degree than conventions about how to use sentences involving attributions of vague predicates to clear cases.
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  49. Vagueness as Indeterminacy.Brian Weatherson - 2010 - In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic. Oxford University Press.
    Vagueness as Indeterminacy. I defend the traditional view that a vague term is one with an indeterminate denotation from a bevy of recent challenges.
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  50. Is Vagueness Sui Generis ?David Barnett - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (1):5 – 34.
    On the dominant view of vagueness, if it is vague whether Harry is bald, then it is unsettled, not merely epistemically, but metaphysically, whether Harry is bald. In other words, vagueness is a type of indeterminacy. On the standard alternative, vagueness is a type of ignorance: if it is vague whether Harry is bald, then, even though it is metaphysically settled whether Harry is bald, we cannot know whether Harry is bald. On my view, vagueness is neither a type of (...)
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