Vagueness in Language: The Case Against Fuzzy Logic Revisited

Abstract

Kamp and Fine presented an influential argument against the use of fuzzy logic for linguistic semantics in 1975. However, the argument assumes that contradictions of the form "A and not A" have semantic value zero. The argument has been recently criticized because sentences of this form are actually not perceived as contradictory by naive speakers. I present new experimental evidence arguing that fuzzy logic still isn't useful for linguistic semantics even if we take such naive speaker judgements at face value. Specifically I show that naive speakers judge "A and not A" in the relevant cases as more true than "B and not A" even when A and B are judged to be equally true. A truth functional semantics such as fuzzy logic cannot account for these intuitions directly.

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References found in this work

Vagueness, truth and logic.Kit Fine - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):265-300.
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Studies in the Way of Words.D. E. Over - 1990 - Philosophical Quarterly 40 (160):393-395.
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Contradictions at the borders.David Ripley - 2011 - In Rick Nouwen, Robert van Rooij, Uli Sauerland & Hans-Christian Schmitz (eds.), Vagueness in Communication. Springer. pp. 169--188.

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