Vagueness: A Reader / Edition 1 available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- MIT Press
Vagueness is currently the subject of vigorous debate in the philosophy of logic and language. Vague terms such as 'tall', 'red', 'bald', and 'tadpole' have borderline cases (arguably, someone may be neither tall nor not tall); and they lack well-defined extensions (there is no sharp boundary between tall people and the rest). The phenomenon of vagueness poses a fundamental challenge to classical logic and semantics, which assumes that propositions are either true or false and that extensions are determinate. This anthology collects for the first time the most important papers in the field. After a substantial introduction that surveys the field, the essays form four groups, starting with some historically notable pieces. The 1970s saw an explosion of interest in vagueness, and the second group of essays reprints classic papers from this period. The following group of papers represent the best recent work on the logic and semantics of vagueness. The essays in the final group are contributions to the continuing debate about vague objects and vague identity.
About the Author
Rosanna Keefe is a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge University
Peter Smith is a member of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge.
Table of ContentsAcknowledgements
1 Introduction: theories of vagueness
Rosanna Keefe and Peter Smith
2 On the sorites
Diogenes Laertius, Galen and Cicero
4 Vagueness: an eXercise in logical analysis
5 Vagueness and logic
Carl G. Hempel
6 Truth and vagueness
7 The sorites paradoX
8 Wang's paradoX
9 Vagueness, truth and logic
10 Languagemastery and the sorites paradoX
11 Truth, belief and vagueness
Kenton F. Machina
12 Further reflections on the sorites paradoX
13 Concepts without boundaries
R. M. Sainsbury
14 Vagueness and ignorance
15 Sorites paradoXes and the semantics of vagueness
16 Vagueness by degrees
17 Can there be vague objects?
18 Vague identity: Evans misunderstood
19 Worldly indeterminacy of identity
Terence Parsons and Peter Woodruff
What People are Saying About This
Anyone who has the vague sense that they ought to know more about vagueness (potentially anyone working in logic, metaphysics, semantics or the philosophy of language) will find that this collection can definitely bring them up to speed (and then some). The collection seamlessly connects contemporary research with the historical problem of vagueness. Best of all, Keefe and Smith have provided an excellent introduction which his itself worth the price of the book. The resulting collection is an indispensable resource for anyone working in the core areas of philosophy.
A timeless collection of classic and recent writings on vagueness, with a very useful introductory overview essay by the editors. The book is an invaluable reference work, and is very well suited as a reader in courses on vagueness.
This timeless anthology provides an inviting first step to anyone interested in the sorites paradox. The issues are developed with an agreeable blend of logic and history. Each step of the dialectic is followed by a yet more interesting step. Consequently, even veterans of vagueness will marvel at how the editors have compressed so much wisdom into only finitely many pages.
"This balanced and comprehensive collection will be a standard reference for many years to come." Alice Kyburg , ComputationalLinguistics
This balanced and comprehensive collection will be a standard reference for many years to come.
This volume contains a well-chosen sample of the best work on vagueness in recent years. It also contains new work of the highest quality.