Modelling vagueness: what can we ignore?
- Rosanna Keefe
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
A theory of vagueness gives a model of vague language and of reasoning within the language. Among the models that have been offered are Degree Theorists’ numerical models that assign values between 0 and 1 to sentences, rather than simply modelling sentences as true or false. In this paper, I ask whether we can benefit from employing a rich, well-understood numerical framework, while ignoring those aspects of it that impute a level of mathematical precision that is not present in the modelled phenomenon of vagueness. Can we ignore apparent implications for the phenomena by pointing out that it is “just a model” and that the unwanted features are mere artefacts? I explore the distinction between representors and artefacts and criticise the strategy of appealing to features as mere artefacts in defence of a theory. I focus largely on theories using numerical resources, but also consider other, related theories and strategies, including theories appealing to non-linear structures.
- Cook, R. (2002). Vagueness and mathematical precision. Mind, 111, 226–247. CrossRef
- Edgington, D. (1996). Vagueness by degrees. In R. Keefe & P. Smith (Eds.), Vagueness: A reader (pp. 294–316). Cambridge: MIT Press.
- Edgington, D. (unpublished manuscript). Vagueness: Filling the gaps.
- Keefe, R. (1998). Vagueness by numbers. Mind, 107, 565–579.
- Keefe, R. (2000). Theories of vagueness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- MacFarlane, J. (2010). Fuzzy epistemicism. In R. Dietz & S. Moruzzi (Eds.), Cuts and clouds (pp. 438–463). Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRef
- Machina, K. (1976). Truth, belief and vagueness. Journal of Philosophical Logic, 5, 47–78. Reprinted in R. Keefe & P. Smith (Eds), Vagueness: A reader. MIT Press, 1996.
- Sanford, D. (1993). The problem of the many, many composition questions and naive mereology. Nous, 27, 219–228. CrossRef
- Shapiro, S. (1998). Logical consequence: Models and modality. In M. Schirn (Ed.), Philosophy of mathematics today: Proceedings of an international congress in Munich (pp. 131–156). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Shapiro, S. (2006). Vagueness in context. Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRef
- Smith, N. J. J. (2008). Vagueness and degrees of truth. Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRef
- Tye, M. (1994). Sorites paradoxes and the semantics of vagueness. Philosophical Perspectives 8: Logic and Language, 189–206.
- van Fraassen, B. (1984). Belief and the will. Journal of Philosophy, 81, 235–256. CrossRef
- Weatherson, B. (2005). True, truer, truest. Philosophical Studies, 123, 47–70. CrossRef
- Williamson, T. (1994). Vagueness. London: Routledge.
- Zardini, E. (2008). A model of tolerance. Studia Logica, 90, 337–368. CrossRef
- Modelling vagueness: what can we ignore?
Volume 161, Issue 3 , pp 453-470
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Sorites paradox
- Degree theories
- Rosanna Keefe (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Philosophy, University of Sheffield, 45 Victoria Street, Sheffield, S3 7QB, UK