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  1. added 2018-12-08
    Aristotelian Finitism.Tamer Nawar - 2015 - Synthese 192 (8):2345-2360.
    It is widely known that Aristotle rules out the existence of actual infinities but allows for potential infinities. However, precisely why Aristotle should deny the existence of actual infinities remains somewhat obscure and has received relatively little attention in the secondary literature. In this paper I investigate the motivations of Aristotle’s finitism and offer a careful examination of some of the arguments considered by Aristotle both in favour of and against the existence of actual infinities. I argue that Aristotle has (...)
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  2. added 2018-09-04
    Vague Existence.Alessandro Torza - 2017 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 10.
    Ted Sider has famously argued that existence, in the unrestricted sense of ontology, cannot be vague, as long as vagueness is modeled by means of precisifications. The first section of Chapter 9 exposes some controversial assumptions underlying Sider’s alleged reductio of vague existence. The upshot of the discussion is that, although existence cannot be vague, it can be super-vague, i.e. higher-order vague, for all orders. The second section develops and defends a novel framework, dubbed negative supervaluationary semantics, which makes room (...)
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  3. added 2018-02-17
    Vague Objects.Michael Tye - 1990 - Mind 99:535.
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  4. added 2018-02-17
    Indeterminate people.Hugh Chandler - 1985 - Analysis 45 (3):141.
    Here is the paper that was attacked by George Rea in his “How many minds…?” paper. Has this issue been resolved? Can there be entities such that there is no definite answer to the question “Are there 13 minds at work here, or 14?” -/- .
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  5. added 2017-09-21
    A Note on a Remark of Evans.Wolfgang Barz - 2016 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):7-15.
    In his seminal paper, ‘Can There Be Vague Objects?’ (1978), Gareth Evans advanced an argument purporting to prove that the idea of indeterminate identity is incoherent. Aware that his argument was incomplete as it stands, Evans added a remark at the end of his paper, in which he explained how the original argument needed to be modified to arrive at an explicit contradiction. This paper aims to develop a modified version of Evans’ original argument, which I argue is more promising (...)
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  6. added 2017-03-13
    Indeterminate Comprehension.Jonathan A. Simon - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):39-48.
    Can we solve the Problem of the Many, and give a general account of the indeterminacy in definite descriptions that give rise to it, by appealing to metaphysically indeterminate entities? I argue that we cannot. I identify a feature common to the relevant class of definite descriptions, and derive a contradiction from the claim that each such description is satisfied by a metaphysically indeterminate entity.
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  7. added 2017-01-26
    Indeterminacy of Identity of Objects: An Exercise in Metaphysical Aesthetics.Terence Parsons - 2000 - In A. Orenstein & Petr Kotatko (eds.), Knowledge, Language and Logic: Questions for Quine. Kluwer Academic Print on Demand. pp. 213--224.
  8. added 2017-01-16
    Referential Indeterminacy with an Ontic Source? – A Criticism of Williams’s Defense of Vague Objects.Ken Akiba - 2015 - Metaphysica 16 (2).
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  9. added 2017-01-15
    Does Ontic Indeterminacy in Boundaries Entail Ontic Indeterminacy in Identity?H. W. Noonan - 2008 - Analysis 68 (2):174-176.
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  10. added 2017-01-15
    Are There Vague Objects?H. W. Noonan - 2004 - Analysis 64 (2):131-134.
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  11. added 2017-01-15
    God and the Ontic Order.Lewis S. Ford - 1966 - World Futures 5 (1):69-79.
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  12. added 2016-12-12
    The Ontology of Physical Objects: Four-Dimensional Hunks of Matter.Mark Heller - 1990 - Cambridge University Press.
    This provocative book attempts to resolve traditional problems of identity over time. It seeks to answer such questions as 'How is it that an object can survive change?' and 'How much change can an object undergo without being destroyed'? To answer these questions Professor Heller presents a theory about the nature of physical objects and about the relationship between our language and the physical world. According to his theory, the only actually existing physical entities are what the author calls 'hunks', (...)
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  13. added 2016-12-08
    On Evans's Vague Object From Set Theoretic Viewpoint.Shunsuke Yatabe & Hiroyuki Inaoka - 2006 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 35 (4):423-434.
    Gareth Evans proved that if two objects are indeterminately equal then they are different in reality. He insisted that this contradicts the assumption that there can be vague objects. However we show the consistency between Evans's proof and the existence of vague objects within classical logic. We formalize Evans's proof in a set theory without the axiom of extensionality, and we define a set to be vague if it violates extensionality with respect to some other set. There exist models of (...)
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  14. added 2016-12-08
    Indeterminism and Indeterminacy.K. Hawley - 1998 - Analysis 58 (2):101-106.
    E.J. Lowe claims that quantum physics provides examples of ontic indeterminacy, of vagueness in the world. Any such claim must confront the Evans-Salmon argument to the effect that the notion of ontic indeterminacy is simply incoherent (Evans 1978, Salmon 1981: 243-46). Lowe argues that a standard version of the Evans-Salmon argument fails quite generally (Lowe 1994). Harold Noonan (1995) has outlined a non-standard version of the argument, but Lowe argues that this non-standard version fails for specifically quantum mechanical reasons (Lowe (...)
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  15. added 2016-05-18
    Vagueness and Arbitrariness: Merricks on Composition.Elizabeth Barnes - 2007 - Mind 116 (461):105-113.
    In this paper I respond to Trenton Merricks's (2005) paper ‘Composition and Vagueness’. I argue that Merricks's paper faces the following difficulty: he claims to provide independent motivation for denying one of the premisses of the Lewis-Sider vagueness argument for unrestricted composition, but the alleged motivation he provides begs the question.
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  16. added 2016-03-03
    Austere Realism: Contextual Semantics Meets Minimal Ontology, by Terence Horgan and Matjaž Potrč.Justin Khoo - 2015 - Mind 124 (496):1292-1299.
    Review of Horgan and Potrc (2008). I discuss both their linguistic and ontological theses.
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  17. added 2015-04-04
    VII—Vagueness and Existence.Katherine Hawley - 2002 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 102 (2):125-140.
    Vague existence can seem like the worst kind of vagueness in the world, or seem to be an entirely unintelligible notion. This bad reputation is based upon the rumour that if there is vague existence then there are non-existent objects. But the rumour is false: the modest brand of vague existence entailed by certain metaphysical theories of composition does not deserve its bad reputation.
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  18. added 2015-04-04
    Vague Objects.Olafur Pall Jonsson - 2001 - Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Peter Unger's puzzle, the problem of the many, is an argument for the conclusion that we are grossly mistaken about what kinds of objects are in our immediate surroundings. But it is not clear what we should make of Unger's argument. There is an epistemic view which says that the argument shows that we don't know which objects are the referents of singular terms in our language. There is a linguistic view which says that Unger's puzzle shows that ordinary singular (...)
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  19. added 2015-03-28
    Does Ontic Indeterminacy in Boundaries Entail Ontic Indeterminacy in Identity?Harold W. Noonan - 2008 - Analysis 68 (2):174–176.
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  20. added 2015-03-27
    Metaphysical Indeterminacy, Properties, and Quantum Theory.Alisa Bokulich - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (3):449-475.
    It has frequently been suggested that quantum mechanics may provide a genuine case of ontic vagueness or metaphysical indeterminacy. However, discussions of quantum theory in the vagueness literature are often cursory and, as I shall argue, have in some respects been misguided. Hitherto much of the debate over ontic vagueness and quantum theory has centered on the “indeterminate identity” construal of ontic vagueness, and whether the quantum phenomenon of entanglement produces particles whose identity is indeterminate. I argue that this way (...)
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  21. added 2015-03-24
    Vague Objects and Existence.P. X. Monaghan - 2004 - Metaphysica 5 (1):59-66.
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  22. added 2015-03-20
    Granular Partitions and Vagueness.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2003 - In Chris Welty & Barry Smith (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS). New York, USA: ACM Press. pp. 309-320.
    There are some who defend a view of vagueness according to which there are intrinsically vague objects or attributes in reality. Here, in contrast, we defend a view of vagueness as a semantic property of names and predicates. All entities are crisp, on this view, but there are, for each vague name, multiple portions of reality that are equally good candidates for being its referent, and, for each vague predicate, multiple classes of objects that are equally good candidates for being (...)
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  23. added 2015-03-05
    Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
    Objects and Persons presents an original theory about what kinds of things exist. Trenton Merricks argues that there are no non-living inanimate macrophysical objects -- no statues or rocks or chairs or stars -- because they would have no causal role over and above the causal role of their microphysical parts. Humans do exist: we have non-redundant causal powers. Along the way, Merricks has interesting things to say about mental causation, free will, and various philosophical puzzles. Anyone working in metaphysics (...)
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  24. added 2015-02-13
    Review of Objects and Persons, by Trenton Merricks. [REVIEW]Lynne Rudder Baker - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (4):597 – 598.
    Book Information Objects and Persons. Objects and Persons Trenton Merricks . Oxford: Clarendon Press , 2001 , pp. xii + 203 , £30 ( cloth ), £14.99 ( paper ) . By Trenton Merricks. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Pp. xii + 203. £30 (cloth:), £14.99 (paper:).
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  25. added 2015-02-10
    Interrelations and Dissimilarities Between Distinct Approaches to Ontic Vagueness.Marc Andree Weber - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (2):181-195.
    This paper outlines the often striking parallels of various approaches to ontic vagueness, as well as their even more striking differences. Though circling around the same idea, some of these approaches were developed to solve quite diverse theoretical problems and encounter different challenges. In addition to these difficulties, the frequently disregarded epistemological problems of all theories of ontic vagueness turn out to be even more serious under critical scrutiny. The same holds for the difficulties of deciding, for every case of (...)
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  26. added 2014-07-19
    On the Sharpness and Bias of Quantum Effects.Paul Busch - 2009 - Foundations of Physics 39 (7):712-730.
    The question of quantifying the sharpness (or unsharpness) of a quantum mechanical effect is investigated. Apart from sharpness, another property, bias, is found to be relevant for the joint measurability or coexistence of two effects. Measures of bias will be defined and examples given.
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  27. added 2014-04-03
    Vague Objects and Indefinite Identity.J. A. Burgess - 1990 - Philosophical Studies 59 (3):263 - 287.
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  28. added 2014-04-02
    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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  29. added 2014-04-02
    Why the World Cannot Be Vague.R. M. Sainsbury - 1995 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 33 (S1):63-81.
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  30. added 2014-04-02
    On Vague Objects, Fuzzy Logic and Fractal Boundaries.B. Jack Copeland - 1995 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 33 (S1):83-96.
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  31. added 2014-04-01
    Vague Objects for Those Who Want Them.David W. Cowles & Michael J. White - 1991 - Philosophical Studies 63 (2):203 - 216.
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  32. added 2014-03-29
    Vagueness, Logic, and Ontology.Achille C. Varzi - 2009 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Arguing About Language. Routledge. pp. 135-154.
    Remember the story of the most-most? It’s the story of that club in New York where people are the most of every type. There is the hairiest bald man and the baldest hairy man; the shortest giant and the tallest dwarf; the smartest idiot and the stupidest wise man. They are all there, including honest thieves and crippled acrobats. On Saturday night they have a party, eat, drink, dance. Then they have a contest. “And if you can tell the hairiest (...)
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  33. added 2014-03-29
    Qualia and Vagueness.Anthony Everett - 1996 - Synthese 106 (2):205-226.
    In this paper I present two arguments against the thesis that we experience qualia. I argue that if we experienced qualia then these qualia would have to be essentially vague entities. And I then offer two arguments, one a reworking of Gareth Evans' argument against the possibility of vague objects, the other a reworking of the Sorites argument, to show that no such essentially vague entities can exist. I consider various objections but argue that ultimately they all fail. In particular (...)
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  34. added 2014-03-24
    Vagueness and Existence.Katherine Hawley - 2002 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 102 (1):125-140.
    Vague existence can seem like the worst kind of vagueness in the world, or seem to be an entirely unintelligible notion. This bad reputation is based upon the rumour that if there is vague existence then there are non-existent objects. But the rumour is false: the modest brand of vague existence entailed by certain metaphysical theories of composition does not deserve its bad reputation.
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  35. added 2014-03-24
    Vague Objects and Phenomenal Wholes.Olli Koistinen & Arto Repo - 2002 - Acta Analytica 17 (1):83-99.
    We consider the so-called problem of the many, formulated by Peter Unger. It arises because ordinary material things do not have precise boundaries: it is always possible to find borderline parts of which it is not true to say either that they are parts or that they are not. Unger’s conclusion is that there are no ordinary things at all. We describe the solutions of Peter van Inwagen and David Lewis, and make some critical comments upon them. After that we (...)
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  36. added 2014-03-24
    Precise Entities but Irredeemably Vague Concepts?Enrique Romerales - 2002 - Dialectica 56 (3):213–233.
    Various arguments have recently been put forward to support the existence of vague or fuzzy objects. Nevertheless, the only possibly compelling argument would support, not the existence of vague objects, but indeterminately existing objects. I argue for the non‐existence of any vague entities—either particulars or properties ‐ in the mind‐independent world. Even so, many philosophers have claimed that to reduce vagueness to semantics is of no avail, since linguistic vagueness betrays semantic incoherence and this is no less a problem than (...)
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  37. added 2014-03-23
    Vague Simples.Neil McKinnon - 2003 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (4):394–397.
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  38. added 2014-03-23
    Indeterminacy de Re.Dorothy Edgington - 2000 - Philosophical Topics 28 (1):27--44.
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  39. added 2014-03-23
    Brutal Composition.Ned Markosian - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (3):211 - 249.
    According to standard, pre-philosophical intuitions, there are many composite objects in the physical universe. There is, for example, my bicycle, which is composed of various parts - wheels, handlebars, molecules, atoms, etc. Recently, a growing body of philosophical literature has concerned itself with questions about the nature of composition.1 The main question that has been raised about composition is, roughly, this: Under what circumstances do some things compose, or add up to, or form, a single object? It turns out that (...)
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  40. added 2014-03-21
    Vagueness and Reality.Michael Tye - 2000 - Philosophical Topics 28 (1):195--210.
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  41. added 2014-03-21
    Sorensen's Argument Against Vague Objects.Ned Markosian - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 97 (1):1-9.
    In his fascinating and provocative paper, "Sharp Boundaries for Blobs," Roy Sorensen gives several arguments against the possibility of "vague objects," or objects with indeterminate boundaries.1 In what follows, I will examine the main argument given by Sorensen in his paper. This argument has a great deal of initial plausibility. Moreover, I happen to sympathize with its conclusion. Nevertheless, it seems to me that Sorensen's argument fails to establish that conclusion. The purpose of this paper is to show why. I (...)
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  42. added 2014-03-19
    The Thesis of Vague Objects and Unger's Problem of the Many.David Hershenov - 2001 - Philosophical Papers 30 (1):57-67.
    Although the predominant view is that vagueness is due to our language being imprecise, the alternative idea that objects themselves do not have determinate borders has received an occasional hearing. But what has failed to be appreciated is how this idea can avoid a puzzle Peter Unger named “The Problem of the Many.”[i].
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  43. added 2014-03-18
    Is 'Everything' Precise?Dan López de Sa - 2006 - Dialectica 60 (4):397–409.
    There are certain metaphysically interesting arguments ‘from vagueness’, for unrestricted mereological composition and for four-dimensionalism, which involve a claim to the effect that idioms for unrestricted quantification are precise. An elaboration of Lewis’ argument for this claim, which assumes the view of vagueness as semantic indecision, is presented. It is argued that the argument also works according to other views on the nature of vagueness, which also require for an expression to be vague that there are different admissible alternatives of (...)
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  44. added 2014-03-18
    What Vague Objects Are Like.Michael Morreau - 2002 - Journal of Philosophy 99 (7):333-361.
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  45. added 2014-03-17
    Ordinary Objects.Amie Thomasson (ed.) - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    Arguments that ordinary inanimate objects such as tables and chairs, sticks and stones, simply do not exist have become increasingly common and increasingly prominent. Some are based on demands for parsimony or for a non-arbitrary answer to the special composition question; others arise from prohibitions against causal redundancy, ontological vagueness, or co-location; and others still come from worries that a common sense ontology would be a rival to a scientific one. Until now, little has been done to address these arguments (...)
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  46. added 2014-03-17
    Identity, Vagueness, and Modality.E. J. Lowe - 2005 - In José Luis Bermúdez (ed.), Thought, Reference, and Experience: Themes From the Philosophy of Gareth Evans. Clarendon Press.
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  47. added 2014-03-14
    There Are Vague Objects (in Any Sense in Which There Are Ordinary Objects).Jiri Benovsky - 2008 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 1 (3):1-4.
    Ordinary objects are vague, because either (i) composition is restricted, or (ii) there really are no such objects (but we still want to talk about them), or (iii) because such objects are not metaphysically (independently of us) distinguishable from other 'extra-ordinary' objects. In any sense in which there are ordinary objects, they are vague.
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  48. added 2014-03-14
    Ontic Vagueness and Metaphysical Indeterminacy.J. Robert G. Williams - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (4):763-788.
    Might it be that world itself, independently of what we know about it or how we represent it, is metaphysically indeterminate? This article tackles in turn a series of questions: In what sorts of cases might we posit metaphysical indeterminacy? What is it for a given case of indefiniteness to be 'metaphysical'? How does the phenomenon relate to 'ontic vagueness', the existence of 'vague objects', 'de re indeterminacy' and the like? How might the logic work? Are there reasons for postulating (...)
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  49. added 2014-03-14
    The Crooked Path From Vagueness to Four-Dimensionalism.Kathrin Koslicki - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):107 - 134.
    The main goal of Sider’s book, Four-Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time, is to show why his version of four- dimensionalism, the stage-theory, on balance, should be preferred over its main competitors: it is, in his view, the theory which presents the best unified treatment of a wide range of central metaphysical puzzles; the theory which has, on balance, “the most important advantages and the least serious drawbacks” (ibid., p. 140). I argue in this paper that, when we add (...)
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  50. added 2014-03-14
    Against Vague Existence.Theodore Sider - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):135 - 146.
    In my book Four-dimensionalism (chapter 4, section 9), I argued that fourdimensionalism – the doctrine of temporal parts – follows from several other premises, chief among which is the premise that existence is never vague. Kathrin Koslicki (preceding article) claims that the argument fails since its crucial premise is unsupported, and is dialectically inappropriate to assume in the context of arguing for four-dimensionalism. Since the relationship between four-dimensionalism and the non-vagueness of existence is not perfectly transparent, I think the argument (...)
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