Metaphysical Vagueness and Metaphysical Indeterminacy

Metaphysica 14 (2):165-179 (2013)

Authors
Matti Eklund
Uppsala University
Abstract
The topic of this paper is whether there is metaphysical vagueness. It is shown that it is important to distinguish between the general phenomenon of indeterminacy and the more narrow phenomenon of vagueness. Relatedly, it is important to distinguish between metaphysical indeterminacy and metaphysical vagueness. One can wish to allow metaphysical indeterminacy but rule out metaphysical vagueness. As is discussed in the paper, central argument against metaphysical vagueness, like those of Gareth Evans and Mark Sainsbury, would if successful rule out metaphysical indeterminacy. One way to argue specifically against the possibility of metaphysical vagueness might be thought to be to argue for a specific theory of the nature of vagueness according to which vagueness is a semantic phenomenon. But it is shown that there are complications also pertaining to arguments with that structure. Toward the end of the paper, I discuss Trenton Merricks’ well-known argument against a semantic view on vagueness and for a metaphysical view.
Keywords Metaphysical indeterminacy  Metaphysical vagueness  Meaning-inconsistency view  Gareth Evans  Mark Sainsbury  Trenton Merricks
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DOI 10.1007/s12133-013-0119-0
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References found in this work BETA

Vagueness, Truth and Logic.Kit Fine - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):265-300.
Can There Be Vague Objects?Gareth Evans - 1978 - Analysis 38 (4):208.
Naming the Colours.David Lewis - 1997 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 75 (3):325-42.

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Citations of this work BETA

How Many There Are Isn’T.Jonah P. B. Goldwater - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-21.
Introduction: Vagueness and Ontology.Geert Keil - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (2):149-164.

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