Vagueness and non-indexical contextualism

In Sarah Sawyer (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Language. Palgrave-Macmillan (2009)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Contextualism concerning vagueness (hereafter ‘CV’) is a popular response to the puzzle of vagueness.[1] The goal in this paper is to uncover in what ways vagueness may be a particular species of context-sensitivity. The most promising form of CV turns out to be a version of socalled ‘Non-Indexical Contextualism’.[2] In §2, we sketch a generic form of CV (hereafter ‘GCV’). In §3, we distinguish between Truth CV and Content CV. A non-indexical form of CV is a form of Truth CV, while an indexical form of CV is a form of Content CV. In §4, we argue that the theory of vagueness given in Fara (2000) is crucially incomplete but is best seen as a non-indexical form of CV. In §5, we set forth four kinds of error-theory to which CV might be committed. It turns out that Non-Indexical CV is committed to a weaker, and more plausible, error-theory than Indexical CV. In §6, we address a challenge posed by Keefe (2007) to the effect that CV entails that any speech report of what has been said by a particular vague utterance, where the context of utterance and the reporting context are relevantly different, will almost always be inaccurate. While this challenge is prima facie effective against Indexical CV it proves to be less effective against Non-Indexical CV. In §7, we look at two tests for context-sensitivity and assess whether they can be employed against CV. These tests, if cogent, reveal that the only workable form of CV is Non-Indexical CV.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,509

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Cognitive Dynamics and Indexicals.Simon Prosser - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (4):369–391.
Hold the Context Fixed, Vagueness Still Remains.Jonas Åkerman & Patrick Greenough - 2010 - In Sebastiano Moruzzi & Richard Dietz (eds.), Cuts and Clouds. Oxford University Press. pp. 275--88.
Challenging Contextualism.Martijn Blaauw - 2005 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 69 (1):127-146.
Indexical Contextualism and the Challenges From Disagreement.Carl Baker - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (1):107-123.
Indexical Thought.David Pitt - 2013 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Phenomenal Intentionality. Oxford University Press. pp. 49-70.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-03-16

Downloads
168 (#74,037)

6 months
2 (#277,663)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Patrick Greenough
University of St. Andrews

Citations of this work

Contradictions at the Borders.David Ripley - 2011 - In Rick Nouwen, Robert van Rooij, Uli Sauerland & Hans-Christian Schmitz (eds.), Vagueness in Communication. Springer. pp. 169--188.
Indeterminate Truth.Patrick Greenough - 2008 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 32 (1):213-241.
Epistemicism, Paradox, and Conditional Obligation.Ivan Hu - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2123-2139.
Relativism, Sceptical Paradox, and Semantic Blindness.Dirk Kindermann - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):585-603.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references