Vagueness and semantic indiscriminability

Philosophical Studies 160 (3):365-377 (2012)
I argue, pace Timothy Williamson, that one cannot provide an adequate account of what it is for a case to be borderline by appealing to facts about our inability to discriminate our actual situation from nearby counterfactual situations in which our language use differs in subtle ways. I consider the two most natural ways of using such resources to provide an account of what it is for a case to be borderline and argue that both face crippling defects. I argue that the problems faced by these two accounts point to more general reasons to be skeptical of the claim that facts about semantic indiscriminability provide sufficient resources for an analysis of what it is for a case to be borderline.
Keywords Vagueness  Epistemicism  Metalinguistic safety  Timothy Williamson
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9723-4
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,453
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Timothy Williamson (2003). Vagueness in Reality. In Michael J. Loux & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
Timothy Williamson (2004). Reply to McGee and McLaughlin. Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (1):113-122.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Dan López de Sa (2010). How to Respond to Borderline Cases. In Sebastiano Moruzzi & Richard Dietz (eds.), Cuts and Clouds. Oxford University Press.
Diana Raffman (2009). Demoting Higher-Order Vagueness. In Sebastiano Moruzzi & Richard Dietz (eds.), Cuts and Clouds. Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic. Oxford University Press. pp. 509--22.
Elisa Paganini (2012). God's Silence. Philosophical Studies 157 (2):287-298.
Augustin Rayo (2010). A Metasemantic Account of Vagueness. In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and Clouds: Vagueness, its Nature, and its Logic. Oxford University Press. pp. 23--45.
Timothy Williamson (2002). Horgan on Vagueness. Grazer Philosophische Studien 63 (1):273-285.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

84 ( #57,568 of 1,925,262 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

18 ( #33,472 of 1,925,262 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.