© 2014

Vague Objects and Vague Identity

New Essays on Ontic Vagueness

  • Ken Akiba
  • Ali Abasnezhad

Part of the Logic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science book series (LEUS, volume 33)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Ken Akiba
    Pages 1-21
  3. Mereological Vagueness

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 23-23
    2. Maureen Donnelly
      Pages 43-65
  4. Varieties of Ontic Vagueness

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 67-67
    2. George Darby
      Pages 69-108
    3. Kristie Miller
      Pages 109-133
  5. Formal Issues

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 173-173
    2. Ken Akiba
      Pages 175-195
    3. Stewart Shapiro
      Pages 217-236
  6. Ontic Supervaluationism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 237-237
    2. Ali Abasnezhad, Davood Hosseini
      Pages 239-255
    3. Dan López de Sa
      Pages 257-271
  7. Vague Identity

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 273-273
    2. Brian Garrett
      Pages 275-282
    3. David B. Hershenov
      Pages 283-303

About this book


This unique anthology of new, contributed essays offers a range of perspectives on various aspects of ontic vagueness. It seeks to answer core questions pertaining to onticism, the view that vagueness exists in the world itself. The questions to be addressed include whether vague objects must have vague identity, and whether ontic vagueness has a distinctive logic, one that is not shared by semantic or epistemic vagueness. The essays in this volume explain the motivations behind onticism, such as the plausibility of mereological vagueness and indeterminacy in quantum mechanics, and they offer various arguments both for and against ontic vagueness; onticism is also compared with other, competing theories of vagueness such as semanticism, the view that vagueness exists only in our linguistic representation of the world.

Gareth Evans’s influential paper of 1978, “Can There Be Vague Objects?” gave a simple but cogent argument against the coherence of ontic vagueness. Onticism was subsequently dismissed by many. However, in recent years, researchers have become aware of the logical gaps in Evans’s argument, and this has triggered a new wave of interest in onticism. Onticism is now widely regarded as at least a coherent view. Reflecting this growing consensus, the present anthology for the first time puts together essays that are focused on onticism and its various facets, and it fills in the lacuna in the literature on vagueness, a much-discussed subject in contemporary philosophy.


Boolean-valued sets as value sets Gareth Evans' Argument Gareth Evans’ proof Mereological Vagueness Mereological indeterminacy Mereology Non-vague phenomenal predicates and phenomenal properties Ontic Vagueness Vague existence implies vague identity Vague objects in quantum physics Vagueness and abstraction Vagueness and the supervaluationist approach

Editors and affiliations

  • Ken Akiba
    • 1
  • Ali Abasnezhad
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Lille IIIVilleneuve D'AscqFrance

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Vague Objects and Vague Identity
  • Book Subtitle New Essays on Ontic Vagueness
  • Editors Ken Akiba
    Ali Abasnezhad
  • Series Title Logic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science
  • Series Abbreviated Title Logic,Epistemology,Unity
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-94-007-7977-8
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-024-0105-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-007-7978-5
  • Series ISSN 2214-9775
  • Series E-ISSN 2214-9783
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages X, 359
  • Number of Illustrations 28 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Philosophy, general
  • Buy this book on publisher's site