Vagueness as Indecision

Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 90 (1):285-309 (2016)
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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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Robert Williams
University of Leeds

Citations of this work

The normativity of gender.R. A. Rowland - 2024 - Noûs 58 (1):244-270.
Vagueness.Roy Sorensen - 2012 - In Peter Adamson (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Death by Redescription.Henry Pollock - 2022 - Philosophia 51 (1):309-328.

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References found in this work

Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1996 - New York: Routledge.
In contradiction: a study of the transconsistent.Graham Priest - 1987 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Thinking how to live.Allan Gibbard - 2003 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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