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Bertrand Russell (1923). Vagueness.

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  1.  56
    Vagueness: Why Do We Believe in Tolerance?Paul Égré - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-17.
    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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  2.  23
    One’s an Illusion: Organisms, Reference, and Non-Eliminative Nihilism.Joseph Long - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-17.
    Gabriele Contessa has recently introduced and defended a view he calls ‘non-eliminative nihilism’. Non-eliminative nihilism is the conjunction of mereological nihilism and non-eliminativism about ordinary objects. Mereological nihilism is the thesis that composite objects do not exist, where something is a composite object just in case it has proper parts. Eliminativism about ordinary objects denies that ordinary objects exist. Eliminativism thus implies, for example, that there are no galaxies, planets, stars, ships, tables, books, organisms, cells, molecules, or atoms. Non-eliminativism is (...)
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  3. Deleuze and Heidegger on Truth And Science.Michael James Bennett - 2018 - Open Philosophy 1 (1):173-190.
    Deleuze and Guattari’s manner of distinguishing science from philosophy in their last collaboration What is Philosophy? seems to imply a hierarchy, according to which philosophy is more adequate to the reality of virtual events than science is. This suggests, in turn, that philosophy has a better claim than science to truth. This paper clarifies Deleuze‘s views about truth throughout his career. Deleuze equivocates over the term, using it in an “originary” and a “derived” sense, probably under the influence of Henri (...)
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  4.  46
    Alternate Possibilities and Moral Asymmetry.Daniel Avi Coren - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (2):145-159.
    Harry Frankfurt Journal of Philosophy, 66, 829–39 famously attacked what he called the principle of alternate possibilities. PAP states that being able to do otherwise is necessary for moral responsibility. He gave counterexamples to PAP known since then as “Frankfurt cases.” This paper sidesteps the enormous literature on Frankfurt cases while preserving some of our salient pretheoretical intuitions about the relation between alternate possibilities and moral responsibility. In particular, I introduce, explain, and defend a principle that has so far been (...)
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  5.  8
    Questioning the Virtual Friendship Debate: Fuzzy Analogical Arguments From Classification and Definition.Oliver Laas - 2018 - Argumentation 32 (1):99-149.
    Arguments from analogy are pervasive in everyday reasoning, mathematics, philosophy, and science. Informal logic studies everyday argumentation in ordinary language. A branch of fuzzy logic, approximate reasoning, seeks to model facets of everyday reasoning with vague concepts in ill-defined situations. Ways of combining the results from these fields will be suggested by introducing a new argumentation scheme—a fuzzy analogical argument from classification—with the associated critical questions. This will be motivated by a case study of analogical reasoning in the virtual friendship (...)
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  6.  32
    Wittgenstein on the Duration and Timing of Mental Phenomena: Episodes, Understanding and Rule-Following.Christopher Mole - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (6):1153-1175.
    Wittgenstein’s later works are full of questions about the timing and duration of mental phenomena. These questions are often awkward ones, and Wittgenstein seems to take their awkwardness to be philosophically revealing, but if we ask what it is that these questions reveal then different interpretations are possible. This paper suggests that there are at least six different ways in which the timing of mental phenomena can be awkward. By identifying these we can give sense to some of Wittgenstein’s more (...)
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  7.  2
    The European Legal Taxonomy Syllabus: A Multi-Lingual, Multi-Level Ontology Framework to Untangle the Web of European Legal Terminology.Gianmaria Ajani, Guido Boella, Luigi di Caro, Livio Robaldo, Llio Humphreys, Sabrina Praduroux, Piercarlo Rossi & Andrea Violato - 2017 - Applied Ontology 11 (4):325-375.
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  8.  18
    Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness.Cogburn Jon - 2017 - Analysis 77 (2):468-473.
    © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Analysis Trust. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.comA key virtue of Vague Objects and Vague Identity is how it includes so many essays that consider the particular ways vagueness manifests in different kinds of entities, including meanings, part-whole relations, the very small as understood by quantum mechanics, people, sensations, sets, ordinals, cardinals and abstractions. In every case, the author has something interesting to say not just (...)
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  9.  64
    Tolerance and Higher-Order Vagueness.Peter Pagin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3727-3760.
    The idea of higher-order vagueness is usually associated with conceptions of vagueness that focus on the existence of borderline cases. What sense can be made of it within a conception of vagueness that focuses on tolerance instead? A proposal is offered here. It involves understanding ‘definitely’ not as a sentence operator but as a predicate modifier, and more precisely as an intensifier, that is, an operator that shifts the predicate extension along a scale. This idea is combined with the author’s (...)
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  10.  63
    A Normatively Neutral Definition of Paternalism.Emma C. Bullock - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (258):1-21.
    In this paper, I argue that a definition of paternalism must meet certain methodological constraints. Given the failings of descriptivist and normatively charged definitions of paternalism, I argue that we have good reason to pursue a normatively neutral definition. Archard's 1990 definition is one such account. It is for this reason that I return to Archard's account with a critical eye. I argue that Archard's account is extensionally inadequate, failing to capture some cases which are clear instances of paternalism. I (...)
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  11.  17
    Borel on the Heap.Paul Égré & Anouk Barberousse - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S5):1043-1079.
    In 1907 Borel published a remarkable essay on the paradox of the Heap (“Un paradoxe économique: le sophisme du tas de blé et les vérités statistiques”), in which Borel proposes what is likely the first statistical account of vagueness ever written, and where he discusses the practical implications of the sorites paradox, including in economics. Borel’s paper was integrated in his book Le Hasard, published 1914, but has gone mostly unnoticed since its publication. One of the originalities of Borel’s essay (...)
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  12.  15
    Magic of Language.Korzeniewski Bernard - 2013 - Open Journal of Philosophy 3 (4):455.
    Language, through the discrete nature of linguistic names and strictly determined grammatical rules, creates absolute, “quantized”, sharply separated “facts” within the external world that is continuous, “fuzzy” and relational in its essence. Therefore, it is similar, in some important sense, to magic, which attributes causal and creative power to magical words and formulas. On the one hand, language increases greatly the effectiveness of the processes of thinking and interpersonal communication, yet, on the other hand, it determines and distorts to a (...)
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  13. Coincident Entities and Question-Begging Predicates: An Issue in Meta-Ontology.Francesco Berto - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (1):1-15.
    Meta-ontology (in van Inwagen's sense) concerns the methodology of ontology, and a controversial meta-ontological issue is to what extent ontology can rely on linguistic analysis while establishing the furniture of the world. This paper discusses an argument advanced by some ontologists (I call them unifiers) against supporters of or coincident entities (I call them multipliers) and its meta-ontological import. Multipliers resort to Leibniz's Law to establish that spatiotemporally coincident entities a and b are distinct, by pointing at a predicate F (...)
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  14.  66
    A Quantum Probability Perspective on Borderline Vagueness.Reinhard Blutner, Emmanuel M. Pothos & Peter Bruza - 2013 - Topics in Cognitive Science 5 (4):711-736.
    The term “vagueness” describes a property of natural concepts, which normally have fuzzy boundaries, admit borderline cases, and are susceptible to Zeno's sorites paradox. We will discuss the psychology of vagueness, especially experiments investigating the judgment of borderline cases and contradictions. In the theoretical part, we will propose a probabilistic model that describes the quantitative characteristics of the experimental finding and extends Alxatib's and Pelletier's () theoretical analysis. The model is based on a Hopfield network for predicting truth values. Powerful (...)
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  15.  2
    Los cinco sexos, o cómo establecemos fronteras categoriales moralmente relevantes en un mundo difuso y continuo.Antoni Gomila - 2013 - Arbor 189 (762):a050.
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  16.  73
    Introduction: Vagueness and Ontology. [REVIEW]Geert Keil - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (2):149-164.
    The article introduces a special issue of the journal Metaphysica on vagueness and ontology. The conventional view has it that all vagueness is semantic or representational. Russell, Dummett, Evans and Lewis, inter alia, have argued that the notion of “ontic” or “metaphysical” vagueness is not even intelligible. In recent years, a growing minority of philosophers have tried to make sense of the notion and have spelled it out in various ways. The article gives an overview and relates the idea of (...)
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  17. Representationalism and the Problem of Vagueness.Ryan Perkins & Tim Bayne - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (1):71-86.
    This paper develops a novel problem for representationalism (also known as "intentionalism"), a popular contemporary account of perception. We argue that representationalism is incompatible with supervaluationism, the leading contemporary account of vagueness. The problem generalizes to naive realism and related views, which are also incompatible with supervaluationism.
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  18.  34
    Vague Music.Roy Sorensen - 2011 - Philosophy 86 (2):231-248.
    Is listening to music like looking through a kaleidoscope? Formalists contend that music is meaningless. Most music theorists concede that this austere thesis is surprisingly close to the truth. Nevertheless, they refute formalism with a little band of diffusely referential phenomena, such as musical quotation, onomatopoeia, exemplification, and leitmotifs. These curiosities ought to be pressed into a new campaign against assumptions that vagueness can only arise in the semantically lush setting of language. Just as the discovery of extremophilic bacteria led (...)
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  19. Arguments Against Metaphysical Indeterminacy and Vagueness.Elizabeth Barnes - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (11):953-964.
  20. Ontic Vagueness: A Guide for the Perplexed.Elizabeth Barnes - 2010 - Noûs 44 (4):601-627.
    In this paper I develop a framework for understanding ontic vagueness. The project of the paper is two-fold. I first outline a definitional account of ontic vagueness – one that I think is an improvement on previous attempts because it remains neutral on other, independent metaphysical issues. I then develop one potential manifestation of that basic definitional structure. This is a more robust (and much less neutral) account which gives a fully classical explication of ontic vagueness via modal concepts. The (...)
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  21.  75
    A Wittgensteinian Solution to the Sorites.Hanoch Ben-Yami - 2010 - Philosophical Investigations 33 (3):229-244.
    I develop a solution to the Sorites Paradox, according to which a concatenation of valid arguments need not itself be valid. I specify which chains of valid arguments are those that do not preserve validity: those that pass the vague boundary between cases where the relevant concept applies and cases where that concept does not apply. I also develop various criticisms of this solution and show why they fail; basically, they all involve a petitio at some stage. I criticise the (...)
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  22. Whitehead and Russell on Points.David Bostock - 2010 - Philosophia Mathematica 18 (1):1-52.
    This paper considers the attempts put forward by A.N. Whitehead and by Bertrand Russell to ‘construct’ points (and temporal instants) from what they regard as the more basic concept of extended ‘regions’. It is shown how what they each say themselves will not do, and how it should be filled out and amended so that the ‘construction’ may be regarded as successful. Finally there is a brief discussion of whether this ‘construction’ is worth pursuing, or whether it is better—as in (...)
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  23. Quantum Mechanics and Metaphysical Indeterminacy.George Darby - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):227-245.
    There has been recent interest in formulating theories of non-representational indeterminacy. The aim of this paper is to clarify the relevance of quantum mechanics to this project. Quantum-mechanical examples of vague objects have been offered by various authors, displaying indeterminate identity, in the face of the famous Evans argument that such an idea is incoherent. It has also been suggested that the quantum-mechanical treatment of state-dependent properties exhibits metaphysical indeterminacy. In both cases it is important to consider the details of (...)
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  24. Vagueness, Tolerance and Contextual Logic.Haim Gaifman - 2010 - Synthese 174 (1):5 - 46.
    The goal of this paper is a comprehensive analysis of basic reasoning patterns that are characteristic of vague predicates. The analysis leads to rigorous reconstructions of the phenomena within formal systems. Two basic features are dealt with. One is tolerance: the insensitivity of predicates to small changes in the objects of predication (a one-increment of a walking distance is a walking distance). The other is the existence of borderline cases. The paper shows why these should be treated as different, though (...)
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  25. The Controversy Over the Existence of Ordinary Objects.Amie L. Thomasson - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (7):591-601.
    The basic philosophical controversy regarding ordinary objects is: Do tables and chairs, sticks and stones, exist? This paper aims to do two things: first, to explain why how this can be a controversy at all, and second, to explain why this controversy has arisen so late in the history of philosophy. Section 1 begins by discussing why the 'obvious' sensory evidence in favor of ordinary objects is not taken to be decisive. It goes on to review the standard arguments against (...)
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  26. Vague Parts and Vague Identity.Elizabeth Barnes & J. R. G. Williams - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (2):176-187.
    We discuss arguments against the thesis that the world itself can be vague. The first section of the paper distinguishes dialectically effective from ineffective arguments against metaphysical vagueness. The second section constructs an argument against metaphysical vagueness that promises to be of the dialectically effective sort: an argument against objects with vague parts. Firstly, cases of vague parthood commit one to cases of vague identity. But we argue that Evans' famous argument against will not on its own enable one to (...)
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  27. Predication and Cartographic Representation.Michael Rescorla - 2009 - Synthese 169 (1):175 - 200.
    I argue that maps do not feature predication, as analyzed by Frege and Tarski. I take as my foil (Casati and Varzi, Parts and places, 1999), which attributes predication to maps. I argue that the details of Casati and Varzi’s own semantics militate against this attribution. Casati and Varzi emphasize what I call the Absence Intuition: if a marker representing some property (such as mountainous terrain) appears on a map, then absence of that marker from a map coordinate signifies absence (...)
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  28. Are Our Concepts Conscious State and Conscious Creature Vague?Michael V. Antony - 2008 - Erkenntnis 68 (2):239 - 263.
    are sharp rather than vague, that they can have no borderline cases. On the other hand, many who take conscious states to be identical to, or realized by, complex physical states are committed to the vagueness of those concepts. In the paper I argue that conscious state and conscious creature are sharp by presenting four necessary conditions for conceiving borderline cases in general, and showing that some of those conditions cannot be met with conscious state. I conclude that conscious state (...)
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  29.  33
    The Prototype Resemblance Theory of Disease.K. Sadegh-Zadeh - 2008 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 33 (2):106-139.
    In a previous paper the concept of disease was fuzzy-logically analyzed and a sketch was given of a prototype resemblance theory of disease (Sadegh-Zadeh (2000). J. Med. Philos., 25:605–38). This theory is outlined in the present paper. It demonstrates what it means to say that the concept of disease is a nonclassical one and, therefore, not amenable to traditional methods of inquiry. The theory undertakes a reconstruction of disease as a category that in contradistinction to traditional views is not based (...)
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  30. Russell and the Unity of the Proposition.Graham Stevens - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (3):491–506.
    In this article I present a summary of Bertrand Russell's protracted attempts to solve the problem of the unity of the proposition, and explain the significance of the problem for Russell's philosophy. Unlike many other accounts which take the problem to be confined to Russell's early theories of propositional content, I argue that the problem (or variants of it) is a recurring theme throughout the whole of Russell's career.
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  31. 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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  32. Epistemicism and Nihilism About Vagueness: What’s the Difference?David Enoch - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (2):285-311.
    In this paper I argue, first, that the only difference between Epistemicism and Nihilism about vagueness is semantic rather than ontological, and second, that once it is clear what the difference between these views is, Nihilism is a much more plausible view of vagueness than Epistemicism. Given the current popularity of certain epistemicist views, this result is, I think, of interest.
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  33. Temporal Parts.Matthew McGrath - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (5):730–748.
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  34.  71
    Mathematical Pluralism: The Case of Smooth Infinitesimal Analysis.Geoffrey Hellman - 2006 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 35 (6):621-651.
    A remarkable development in twentieth-century mathematics is smooth infinitesimal analysis ('SIA'), introducing nilsquare and nilpotent infinitesimals, recovering the bulk of scientifically applicable classical analysis ('CA') without resort to the method of limits. Formally, however, unlike Robinsonian 'nonstandard analysis', SIA conflicts with CA, deriving, e.g., 'not every quantity is either = 0 or not = 0.' Internally, consistency is maintained by using intuitionistic logic (without the law of excluded middle). This paper examines problems of interpretation resulting from this 'change of logic', (...)
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  35.  79
    Russell’s Repsychologising of the Proposition.Graham Stevens - 2006 - Synthese 151 (1):99-124.
    Bertrand Russell's 1903 masterpiece "The Principles of Mathematics" places great emphasis on the need to separate propositions from psychological items such as thoughts. In 1919 Russell explicitly retracts this view, however, and defines propositions as "psychological occurrences". These psychological occurrences are held by Russell to be mental images. In this paper, I seek to explain this radical change of heart. I argue that Russell's re-psychologising of the proposition in 1919 can only be understood against the background of his struggle with (...)
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  36. Inscrutability and its Discontents.Vann McGee - 2005 - Noûs 39 (3):397–425.
    That reference is inscrutable is demonstrated, it is argued, not only by W. V. Quine's arguments but by Peter Unger's "Problem of the Many." Applied to our own language, this is a paradoxical result, since nothing could be more obvious to speakers of English than that, when they use the word "rabbit," they are talking about rabbits. The solution to this paradox is to take a disquotational view of reference for one's own language, so that "When I use 'rabbit,' I (...)
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  37. Varieties of Vagueness.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (1):145-157.
    According to one account, vagueness is "metaphysical." The friend of metaphysical vagueness believes that, for some object and some property, there can be no determinate fact of the matter whether that object exemplifies that property. A second account maintains that vagueness is due only to ignorance. According to the epistemic account, vagueness is explained completely by and is nothing over and above our not knowing some relevant fact or facts. These are the minority views. The dominant position maintains that there (...)
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  38. Vagueness in Geography.Achille C. Varzi - 2001 - Philosophy and Geography 4 (1):49–65.
    Some have argued that the vagueness exhibited by geographic names and descriptions such as ‘Albuquerque’, ‘the Outback’, or ‘Mount Everest’ is ultimately ontological: these terms are vague because they refer to vague objects, objects with fuzzy boundaries. I take the opposite stand and hold the view that geographic vagueness is exclusively semantic, or conceptual at large. There is no such thing as a vague mountain. Rather, there are many things where we conceive a mountain to be, each with its precise (...)
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  39. Consciousness and the State/Transitive/Creature Distinction.R. McBride - 1999 - Philosophical Psychology 12 (2):181-196.
    This essay examines the grammatical structure underlying the use of the word "conscious". Despite the existence of this grammatical structure, I reject the assumption that actual consciousness has a similar structure. Specifically, I reject the claim that consciousness consists of three subtypes: state consciousness, transitive consciousness, and creature consciousness. I offer an inductive argument and a deductive argument that no such psychological entities exist. The inductive argument: given the lack of evidence or arguments for the entities and given that a (...)
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  40.  54
    Sorites.Bertil Rolf - 1984 - Synthese 58 (2):219 - 250.
  41.  29
    The Surprise Examination on the Paradox of the Heap.Joseph Wayne Smith - 1984 - Philosophical Papers 13 (1):43-56.
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  42.  43
    Russell's Theses on Vagueness.Bertil RolF - 1982 - History and Philosophy of Logic 3 (1):69-83.
    In a seminal paper of 1923 on vagueness, Bertrand Russell discussed some of the most important problems concerning the nature of vagueness, its extension within the language, and its relation to truth and logic. The present paper inquires into Russell's theory. The following topics will be analysed and discussed in turn in sections 1?5: Russell's definition of vagueness; his claim that all phrases are vague; his theory of the source of the vagueness in our language; his principles for the transmission (...)
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  43.  48
    A Theory of Vagueness.Bertil Rolf - 1980 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 9 (3):315 - 325.
  44.  25
    Black and Hempel on Vagueness.Bertil Rolf - 1980 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 11 (2):332-346.
    Summary A. Vagueness is not definable in terms of behaviour (Section 4).
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  45. Black and Hempel on Vagueness.Bertil Rolf - 1980 - Zeitschrift Für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 11 (2):332-346.
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  46.  24
    Bertrand Russell on Vagueness.Marvin Kohl - 1969 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 47 (1):31-41.
    Bertrand russell, In his paper on "vagueness," claims that all language is vague. His first argument is that language is vague because all words-Physical-Object words, Logical words, Proper names, Etc.-Are vague. Or, To state the argument more fully: a word is vague if it is a word the extent of whose application is essentially doubtful; all words have an extent of application that is essentially doubtful; hence all words are vague. There are several difficulties, Most of which result from russell's (...)
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