In Defence of the Sensible Theory of Indeterminacy

Abstract

Can the world itself be vague, so that rather than vagueness be a deficiency in our mode of describing the world, it is a necessary feature of any true description of it? Gareth Evans famously poses this question in his paper ‘Can There Be Vague Objects’ (Analysis 38(4):208, 1978). In his recent paper ‘Indeterminacy and Vagueness: Logic and Metaphysics’, Peter van Inwagen (2009) elaborates the account of vagueness and, in particular, in the case of sentences, consequent indeterminacy in truth value, to which this conception of ‘worldly’ vagueness is opposed, calling it the ‘sensible’ theory of indeterminacy and rejecting it. In what follows, I defend the sensible theory van Inwagen rejects. I first explain more fully what it involves and, as importantly, what it does not.

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Correspondence to Harold W. Noonan.

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Noonan, H.W. In Defence of the Sensible Theory of Indeterminacy. Int Ontology Metaphysics 14, 239–252 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12133-013-0124-3

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Keywords

  • Vagueness
  • Indeterminacy
  • Identity
  • Existence