Dialectica 67 (4):403-426 (2013)

Authors
Jonas Åkerman
Stockholm University
Abstract
Agent relativists about vagueness (henceforth ‘agent relativists’) hold that whether or not an object x falls in the extension of a vague predicate ‘P’ at a time t depends on the judgemental dispositions of a particular competent agent at t. My aim in this paper is to critically examine arguments that purport to support agent relativism by appealing to data from forced-march Sorites experiments. The most simple and direct versions of such forced-march Sorites arguments rest on the following (implicit) premise: If competent speakers' judgements vary in a certain way, then the extensions of ‘P’ as used by these speakers must vary in the same way. This premise is in need of independent support, since otherwise opponents of agent relativism can simply reject it. In this paper, I focus on the idea that one cannot plausibly reject this premise, as that would commit one to implausible claims about linguistic competence. Against this, I argue that one can accommodate the data from forced-march Sorites experiments in a way that is compatible with a plausible picture of linguistic competence, without going agent relativist. Thus, there is reason to be sceptical of the idea that such data paired with considerations about linguistic competence can be invoked in order to lend any solid support to agent relativism. Forced-march Sorites arguments of this kind can, and should be, resisted
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/1746-8361.12038
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

Aspects of the Theory of Syntax.Noam Chomsky - 1965 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - London and New York: Routledge.
Scorekeeping in a Language Game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
Vagueness, Truth and Logic.Kit Fine - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):265-300.
Theories of Vagueness.Rosanna Keefe - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Sorites Paradoxes and the Transition Question.Mark Sainsbury - 1992 - Philosophical Papers 21 (3):177-190.
Strict Finitism and the Happy Sorites.Ofra Magidor - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (2):471-491.
Could Competent Speakers Really Be Ignorant of Their Language?Robert J. Matthews - 2006 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (3):457-467.
Resemblance, Universals And Sorites: Comments On March On Sorting Out Sorites.Fred Wilson - 1987 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17 (March):175-184.
A Note on the Sorites Paradox.Graham Priest - 1979 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 57 (1):74 – 75.
Deconstructing a Topological Sorites.D. Rizza - 2013 - Philosophia Mathematica 21 (3):361-364.
Robust Vagueness and the Forced-March Sorites Paradox.Terence Horgan - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8:159-188.
Linguistic Intuitions.Gareth Fitzgerald - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):123-160.
Just What is Vagueness?Otávio Bueno & Mark Colyvan - 2012 - Ratio 25 (1):19-33.
Qualia and Vagueness.Anthony Everett - 1996 - Synthese 106 (2):205-226.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-03-15

Total views
289 ( #36,110 of 2,497,981 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
22 ( #39,059 of 2,497,981 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes