Dissertation, University of Padova (2010)

In this research work I take into account the relation of indistinguishability. This relation seems to be prima facie reflexive, symmetric and transitive; in short, an equivalence relation. However, there are some cases where the relation under consideration fails to be transitive. In this thesis I will discuss two of those cases: vagueness of gradabale adjectives and count nouns, and identity criteria involving perceptual phenomena. My research attempts to answer the following question: how is it possible to communicate and to make meaningful judgments using vague terms and non-transitive identity criteria? This thesis presents an analysis of vagueness and identity criteria that shows that speakers always consider the elements which vague expressions refer to or whose names compose identity statements within a context and from a certain level of precision. I also attempt to provide a formal treatment of vague adjectives and count nouns on the one hand, and of identity criteria on the other. I employ two key concepts in both the treatments: context dependence and granularity.
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References found in this work BETA

.David Wiggins - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:442-448.
The Dynamics of Vagueness.Chris Barker - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (1):1-36.
Wang's Paradox.Michael Dummett - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):201--32.
A Theory of Granular Partitions.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2003 - In M. Duckham, M. F. Goodchild & M. F. Worboys (eds.), Foundations of Geographic Information Science. London: Taylor & Francis. pp. 117-151.

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