Is perceptual indiscriminability nontransitive?

Philosophical Topics 28 (1):153-75 (2000)
It is widely supposed that one family of sorites paradoxes, perhaps the most perplexing versions of the puzzle, owe at least in part to the nontransitivity of perceptual indiscriminability. To a first approximation, perceptual indiscriminability is the relationship obtaining among objects (stimuli) that appear identical in some perceptual respect—for example hue, or pitch, or texture. Indiscriminable objects look the same, or sound the same, or feel the same. Received wisdom has it that there are or could be series of objects _o_1…_o_n in which _o_1 and _o_2 are indiscriminable, _o_2 and _o_3 are indiscriminable, etc., and _o_n-1 and_ o_n are indiscriminable, but _o_1 and _o_n are discriminably different. For example, there could be a series of colored patches so ordered that each patch looks the same in hue as its immediate neighbors but the whole progresses from a clear case of red to a clear case of orange. On the assumption that an observational word like ‘red’ applies to both if to either of a pair of perceptually indiscriminable items, the absurd conclusion of the sorites comes into view. Crispin Wright explains.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/philtopics200028118
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,411
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Philippe Chuard (2010). Non-Transitive Looks & Fallibilism. Philosophical Studies 149 (2):161 - 200.
Philippe Chuard (2007). Indiscriminable Shades and Demonstrative Concepts. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):277 – 306.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

60 ( #81,283 of 1,924,732 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #417,923 of 1,924,732 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.