Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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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 Summary Meta data
Sai I 43
Definition "semantic theory" of vagueness/Sainsbury: according to this view vagueness is a semantic phenomenon.
Semantics/Sainsbury: a semantic property like this, to be true, combines words with the world.
Vagueness would then be a special type of this connection, namely that it is not certain whether the words are true. (SainsburyVs).
It is another question whether this property must be explained by the specific nature of the world. (S.U.)
Defintion "epistemic theory" of vagueness/knowledge/Sainsbury: recently a new view emerged again: Vagueness is a special kind of ignorance. The terms themselves are precise, however. According to this theory, there are even in borderline cases a fact, of course, one that we cannot know. So there is a last great man in the series before the little men start, except that we do not know who it is.
Sai I 44
Definition: vagueness: type of property or kind of knowledge. - (hidden) fact or not a fact.
Vagueness/Sainsbury: must be distinguished from relativity and ambiguity. Logic V 44 + (VsRead) + sorites.
Sai I 51
PositivismVsVerificationism. Sorites: there are sharp limits without us being able to recognize them.
Epistemic theory of vagueness. Facts present but not knowable. > Causal theory of knowledge: must not come about by chance. Tolerant concepts, no knowledge. Nevertheless vague predicates draw sharp boundaries.
Tightening Theory: "either a is a pile or not a pile". SainsburyVs: assigns an intuitive false proposition.
V 58/59
Incorrect interpretation of vagueness: as if the subject were to be associated with three sets: positive, negative, Penumbra. This then is more related to incompleteness.
V 62/63 +
VsTightening Theory: it does not allow "vagueness of higher order": it presupposes that there is a sharp boundary between positive extension and Penumbra.

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.

Sai I
R.M. Sainsbury
Paradoxien Stuttgart 1993

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-05-25