Dealing with Vagueness of Norms: the Theory of Fuzzy Sets

  • Lorenzo Sacconi
Part of the Studies in Economic Ethics and Philosophy book series (SEEP)


In this chapter we introduce the basic theoretical concepts on ‘fuzzy sets’ and the lines along which fuzzy logic can be used to formally express the intuition that an ethical code essentially constitutes a response to the ambiguity created by the occurrence of unforeseen events in the context of economic decision making1. The theory of fuzzy sets was first formulated by Lotfi Zadeh in 1965 (Zadeh 1965) and since then has been theoretically developed and applied in various fields: mathematical analysis, logic, possibility theory, expert systems, pattern recognition, decision analysis, operation research (Kauffman 1975, Zimmerman 1991), robots, artificial intelligence and neural networks (Kosko 1993) and more recently in game theory (Billot 1991) and oligopoly theory (Mansur 1995). Although apparently developed independently, in fact fuzzy logic follows a path created by the non-bivalent logics proposed in the past by those (Russell, Lukasiewicz and many others) who were attempting to face a classical philosophical problem: the problem of vagueness (Williamson 1994).


Moral Judgement Moral Theory Normative Theory Ethical Judgement Ethical Code 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorenzo Sacconi
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Ethics, Law & Economics (CELE)LIUC — Università Cattaneo di CastellanzaCastellanza (VA)Italy

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