Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Vagueness, philosophy: there are descriptions of objects or situations that are necessarily not fully determined. For example, the indication whether a given hue is still red or already orange is not always decidable. It is a property of the language to provide vague predicates. Whether vagueness is a property of the world is controversial. See also sorites, indeterminacy, under-determinateness, intensification, penumbra.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Excerpt Meta data

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Re III 210
Vagueness: Max Black: Vagueness is not ambiguity and also not generality. It can be difficult to draw a line between what is a chair, and what is not. Here, vagueness sets in and threatens the Sorites.
Re III 211
Vagueness: the world itself is not vague. There are no vague objects.
Re III 216
E.g. Everest, Gaurisankar: Suppose it is vague exactly where a mountain begins and where it ends. And vague, whether Everest and Gaurisankar are identical (for it is unclear whether their half-shadows are the same).
So the Everest has the property of being Gaurisankar in a vague way.
If the boundary (interpretation or naming) is vague between two things, one is the other in a vague way.
But Gaurisankar does not have this property! It is clear that Gaurisankar is Gaurisankar. (Like Everest is Everest) (> Properties/boundary). This is the reason why there are no vague objects.
Sorites/Vagueness: Gaurisankar is in a vague way Mt Everest - but: in a certain way Gaurisankar - attributive adjectives: big for mouse/small for elephant - but there are no vague objects.
Sorites: separation of the "truth predicates": "not not little" is unequal "little" - Carnap "external negation": "~ ~ A" not meaningful in vagueness.
Re III 230
The degree distributions do not function like probabilistic distributions. Blur: does not help in Sorites - degree distribution is not probability distribution.
Re III 232
The blur suggests that the grid we place over reality does not exactly correspond to our concepts.
Sai V 54
Epistemic theory of vagueness/Read: a fact is present, but not knowable. > Causal theory of knowledge: must not have happened by chance - tolerant concepts, no knowledge - yet vague predicates draw sharp boundaries.
Sai V 56
Intensification Theory/vagueness/Sainsbury: Thesis: not all premises should be true. +
Sai V 72
Omnipotence/Vagueness/Sainsbury: e.g. whether this object is red, an omniscient being cannot answer better than we do.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
Logic Texts
Me I Albert Menne Folgerichtig Denken Darmstadt 1988
HH II Hoyningen-Huene Formale Logik, Stuttgart 1998
Re III Stephen Read Philosophie der Logik Hamburg 1997
Sal IV Wesley C. Salmon Logik Stuttgart 1983
Sai V R.M.Sainsbury Paradoxien Stuttgart 2001

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-07-25