Vague Reference and Approximating Judgements

Spatial Cognition and Computation 3 (2):137–156 (2003)


We propose a new account of vagueness and approximation in terms of the theory of granular partitions. We distinguish different kinds of crisp and non-crisp granular partitions and we describe the relations between them, concentrating especially on spatial examples. We describe the practice whereby subjects use regular grid-like reference partitions as a means for tempering the vagueness of their judgments, and we demonstrate how the theory of reference partitions can yield a natural account of this practice, which is referred to in the literature as ‘approximation’.

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Author Profiles

Thomas Bittner
State University of New York, Buffalo
Barry Smith
State University of New York, Buffalo

References found in this work

Vagueness, Truth and Logic.Kit Fine - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):265-300.
Fiat Objects.Barry Smith - 2001 - Topoi 20 (2):131-148.
Fiat Objects.Barry Smith - 1994 - In Nicola Guarino, Laure Vieu & Simone Pribbenow (eds.), Parts and Wholes: Conceptual Part-Whole Relations and Formal Mereology, 11th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Amsterdam, 8 August 1994, Amsterdam:. Amsterdam: European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence. pp. 14-22.
On Drawing Lines on a Map.Barry Smith - 1995 - In A. U. Frank, W. Kuhn & D. M. Mark (eds.), Spatial Information Theory: Proceedings of COSIT '95. New York: Springer. pp. 475-484.

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