Vagueness as Indecision

Authors
Robert Williams
University of Leeds
Abstract
This essay explores the thesis that for vague predicates, uncertainty over whether a borderline instance x of red/large/tall/good is to be understood as practical uncertainty over whether to treat x as red/large/tall/good. Expressivist and quasi-realist treatments of vague predicates due to John MacFarlane and Daniel Elstein provide the stalking-horse. It examines the notion of treating/counting a thing as F , and links a central question about our attitudes to vague predications to normative evaluation of plans to treat a thing as F . The essay examines how the account applies to normatively defective or contested terms. The final section raises a puzzle about the mechanics of MacFarlane’s detailed implementation for the case of gradable adjectives.
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DOI 10.1093/arisup/akw001
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