Varieties of vagueness

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (1):145-157 (2001)
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Abstract

According to one account, vagueness is "metaphysical." The friend of metaphysical vagueness believes that, for some object and some property, there can be no determinate fact of the matter whether that object exemplifies that property. A second account maintains that vagueness is due only to ignorance. According to the epistemic account, vagueness is explained completely by and is nothing over and above our not knowing some relevant fact or facts. These are the minority views. The dominant position maintains that there is a third possible variety of vagueness, linguistic vagueness. And, it goes on to insist, all vagueness is of this third variety. I shall argue, however, that linguistic vagueness is not a third variety of vagueness. Either it is a species of metaphysical vagueness or a kind of ignorance. And this, I argue, makes trouble for the claim that all vagueness is linguistic

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Trenton Merricks
University of Virginia

Citations of this work

A Theory of Metaphysical Indeterminacy.Elizabeth Barnes & J. Robert G. Williams - 2011 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics volume 6. Oxford University Press. pp. 103-148.
Vagueness in the world.Ken Akiba - 2004 - Noûs 38 (3):407–429.
Many many problems.Brian Weatherson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (213):481–501.

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - New York: Routledge.
Material beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Blindspots.Roy A. Sorensen - 1988 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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