Philosophical Studies 165 (3):765-786 (2013)

Elia Zardini
Universidade de Lisboa
The paper discusses some ways in which the phenomenon of borderline cases may be thought to bear on the traditional philosophical idea that certain domains of facts are fully open to our view. The discussion focusses on a very influential argument (due to Tim Williamson) to the effect that, roughly, no such domains of luminous facts exist. Many commentators have felt that the vagueness unavoidably inherent in the description of the facts that are best candidates for being luminous plays an illicit role in the argument. The paper investigates this issue by centring around the idea that vagueness brings with itself borderline cases, and that these in turn generate absence of a fact of the matter and hence epistemically benign lack of knowledge. It is argued that, given the possibility of absence of a fact of the matter, the idea of luminosity should be reformulated using the notion of determinacy, and that the resulting reformulation is not immediately subject to the original anti-luminosity argument. However, it is shown that the specific understanding of determinacy required by this strategy validates a new argument against the reformulated version of luminosity. Moreover, reflection on the connection between mistake and absence of a fact of the matter offers another argument against such version, with the surprising upshot that, granting the soundness of the original anti-luminosity argument, not even the determinacy of a certain fact would guarantee its knowability
Keywords Borderline cases  Determinacy  Ignorance  Luminosity  Sorites  Vagueness
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9973-9
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
The Logical Basis of Metaphysics.Michael DUMMETT - 1991 - Harvard University Press.
Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - Routledge.
Discrimination and Perceptual Knowledge.Alvin I. Goldman - 1976 - Journal of Philosophy 73 (November):771-791.
Vagueness, Truth and Logic.Kit Fine - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):265-300.

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Citations of this work BETA

Are We Luminous?Amia Srinivasan - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2):294-319.
Luminosity and Vagueness.Elia Zardini - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (3):375-410.
Luminosity and Vagueness.Elia Zardini - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (3):375-410.
No State A Priori Known to Be Factive is Mental.Elia Zardini - 2016 - Philosophical Issues 26 (1):462-492.

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