Philosophical Quarterly 63 (250):120-140 (2013)

Authors
Stephen Puryear
North Carolina State University
Abstract
Frege is widely supposed to believe that vague predicates have no referent (Bedeutung). But given other things he evidently believes, such a position would seem to commit him to a suspect nihilism according to which assertoric sentences containing vague predicates are neither true nor false. I argue that we have good reason to resist ascribing to Frege the view that vague predicates have no Bedeutung and thus good reason to resist seeing him as committed to the suspect nihilism. In the process, I call attention to several under-appreciated texts in which Frege suggests that a vague predicate, though lacking a Bedeutung of its own, can come to acquire a Bedeutung in certain contexts. The upshot of this suggestion is that vague predicates can serve the purposes of ordinary communication quite well, even if they are useless for logical purposes.
Keywords Frege  Vagueness  Ordinary Language  Sense  Reference  Denotation  Contextualism
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9213.2012.00103.x
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References found in this work BETA

Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - Routledge.

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Citations of this work BETA

Vagueness as Indecision.John MacFarlane - 2016 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 90 (1):255-283.
Vagueness and Family Resemblance.Hanoch Ben-Yami - 2017 - In Hans-Johann Glock (ed.), A Companion to Wittgenstein. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 407-419.
Vagueness and the Logic of the World.Zack Garrett - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Ordinary Language Semantics: The Contribution of Brentano and Marty.Hamid Taieb - 2020 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 28 (4):777-796.

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