Vagueness, tolerance and contextual logic

Synthese 174 (1):5 - 46 (2010)
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 related phenomena. Tolerance is formally reconstructed within a proposed framework of contextual logic, leading to a solution of the Sorites paradox. Borderline-vagueness is reconstructed using certain modality operators; the set-up provides an analysis of higher order vagueness and a derivation of scales of degrees for the property in question.
Keywords Vagueness  Tolerance  Contextual logic  Semantic indeterminacy  Sorites paradox  Higher order vagueness  Degrees
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,685
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
Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press, Usa.
Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - Routledge.
The Concept of Law.H. L. A. Hart - 1961 - Oxford University Press.
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.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Vagueness: A Conceptual Spaces Approach.Igor Douven, Lieven Decock, Richard Dietz & Paul Égré - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (1):137-160.
The Possibility of Vagueness.Kit Fine - forthcoming - Synthese.
The Impossibility of Vagueness.Kit Fine - 2008 - Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):111-136.
Reasoning with Slippery Predicates.Stewart Shapiro - 2008 - Studia Logica 90 (3):313-336.
Vagueness: Why Do We Believe in Tolerance?Paul Égré - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-17.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Higher-Order Sorites Paradox.Elia Zardini - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (1):25-48.
Vagueness as Closeness.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (2):157 – 183.
A Model of Tolerance.Elia Zardini - 2008 - Studia Logica 90 (3):337-368.
Demoting Higher-Order Vagueness.Diana Raffman - 2009 - In Sebastiano Moruzzi & Richard Dietz (eds.), Cuts and Clouds. Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic. Oxford University Press. pp. 509--22.
Vagueness: A Minimal Theory.Patrick Greenough - 2003 - Mind 112 (446):235-281.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

175 ( #25,493 of 2,158,346 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #46,323 of 2,158,346 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums