Vagueness: A minimal theory

Mind 112 (446):235-281 (2003)
Abstract
Vagueness is given a philosophically neutral definition in terms of an epistemic notion of tolerance. Such a notion is intended to capture the thesis that vague terms draw no known boundary across their range of signification and contrasts sharply with the semantic notion of tolerance given by Wright (1975, 1976). This allows us to distinguish vagueness from superficially similar but distinct phenomena such as semantic incompleteness. Two proofs are given which show that vagueness qua epistemic tolerance and vagueness qua borderline cases (when properly construed to exclude terms which are stipulated to give rise to borderline cases) are in fact conceptually equivalent dimensions of vagueness, contrary to what might initially be expected. It is also argued that the common confusion of tolerance and epistemic tolerance has skewed the vagueness debate in favour of indeterminist over epistemic conceptions of vagueness. Clearing up that confusion provides an indirect argument in favour of epistemicism. Finally, given the equation of vagueness with epistemic tolerance, it is shown that there must be radical higher-order vagueness, contrary to what many authors have argued.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/mind/112.446.235
Options
 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: 27,613
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Recent Work on Vagueness.M. Eklund - 2011 - Analysis 71 (2):352-363.

View all 29 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
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.
Just What is Vagueness?Otávio Bueno & Mark Colyvan - 2012 - Ratio 25 (1):19-33.
Varieties of Vagueness.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (1):145-157.
Higher-Order Sorites Paradox.Elia Zardini - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (1):25-48.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

98 ( #51,893 of 2,168,640 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #82,721 of 2,168,640 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums