Vagueness without context change

Mind 116 (462):275-292 (2007)
In this paper I offer a critique of the recent popular strategy of giving a contextualist account of vagueness. Such accounts maintain that truth-values of vague sentences can change with changes of context induced by confronting different entities (e.g. different pairs through a sorites series). I claim that appealing to context does not help in solving the sorites paradox, nor does it give us new insights into vagueness per se. Furthermore, the contextual variation to which the contextualist is committed is problematic in various ways. For example, it yields the consequence that much of our everyday (non-soritical) reasoning is fallacious, and it renders us ignorant of what we and others have said.
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzm275
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