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Metaphysica

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 225–237 | Cite as

Lessons for Vagueness from Scrambled Sorites

  • Mark SainsburyEmail author
Article

Abstract

Vagueness demands many boundaries. Each is permissible, in that a thinker may without error use it to distinguish objects, though none is mandatory. This is revealed by a thought experiment—scrambled sorites—in which objects from a sorites series are presented in a random order, and subjects are required to make their judgments without access to any previous objects or their judgments concerning them.

Keywords

Vagueness Sorites Sharp boundaries Forced march Contextualism 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This paper emerged from a class given jointly with Hans Kamp at NASSLLI 2012. Many thanks to Hans for help and comments at every stage. We plan a joint paper on the various ways in which context relates to vagueness. I would also like to thank the following for valuable comments: audiences at NASSLLI 2012, at the LOGOS conference Departing from Sainsbury, Barcleona 2012, and the Editor of this volume.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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