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  1. Default Reasoning and the Law: A Dialogue.Penco Carlo & Canale Damiano - 2022 - Revus. Journal for Constitutional Theory and Philosophy of Law / Revija Za Ustavno Teorijo in Filozofijo Prava 47.
    Reasoning by default is a relevant aspect of everyday life that has traditionally attracted the attention of many fields of research, from psychology to the philosophy of logic, from economics to artificial intelligence. Also in the field of law, default reasoning is widely used by lawyers, judges and other legal decision-makers. In this paper, a philosopher of language (Carlo Penco) and a philosopher of law (Damiano Canale) attempt to explore some uses of default reasoning that are scarcely considered by legal (...)
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  2. Degrees of Consciousness.Andrew Y. Lee - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Is a human more conscious than an octopus? In the science of consciousness, it’s oftentimes assumed that some creatures (or mental states) are more conscious than others. But in recent years, a number of philosophers have argued that the notion of degrees of consciousness is conceptually confused. This paper (1) argues that the most prominent objections to degrees of consciousness are unsustainable, (2) examines the semantics of ‘more conscious than’ expressions, (3) develops an analysis of what it is for a (...)
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  3. An Existing Sculps Human Modelling- The Deviations in Dialect of Indian Standard English From the British Colonial Period to Present Times. [REVIEW]Syeda Tasfia Imam, Md Majidul Haque Bhuiyan & Kamrunnahar Rakhi - manuscript
    English is spoken all around the world as it is chosen as the second language to speak within most of the countries. However, from the ancient history of the British to come into this South Asian region, the entrance of English as a speaking language happened. Though, after some centuries, the British went out of the mainland of India, it remains the second-largest spoken language there. Here comes another fact; many words in Standard English changed its form. So, this made (...)
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  4. Poetry and the Possibility of Paraphrase.Gregory Currie & Jacopo Frascaroli - 2021 - The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 79 (4):428-439.
    Why is there a long-standing debate about paraphrase in poetry? Everyone agrees that paraphrase can be useful; everyone agrees that paraphrase is no substitute for the poem itself. What is there to disagree about? Perhaps this: whether paraphrase can specify everything that counts as a contribution to the meaning of a poem. There are, we say, two ways to take the question; on one way of taking it, the answer is that paraphrase cannot. Does this entail that there is meaning (...)
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  5. Why Should We Try to Be Sustainable? Expected Consequences and the Ethics of Making an Indeterminate Difference.Howard Nye - 2021 - In Chelsea Miya, Oliver Rossier & Geoffrey Rockwell (eds.), Right Research: Modelling Sustainable Research Practices in the Anthropocene. Open Book Publishers. pp. 3-35.
    Why should we refrain from doing things that, taken collectively, are environmentally destructive, if our individual acts seem almost certain to make no difference? According to the expected consequences approach, we should refrain from doing these things because our individual acts have small risks of causing great harm, which outweigh the expected benefits of performing them. Several authors have argued convincingly that this provides a plausible account of our moral reasons to do things like vote for policies that will reduce (...)
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  6. Mushrooming Like Coronavirus? Tackling the Menace of Fake News by Way of an Epistemic, Legal and Regulatory Discourse.Aayush Shankar - manuscript
    Fake news is a topic that we all know well, and that continues to play a prominent role in the social harms besieging the globe today. From the recent storming of the Capitol Hill in the United States to the siege of Red fort over Farm-laws in India, online disinformation via social media platforms was the main driving force catapulting the protestors far and wide. In the backdrop of such social harms, this Research Article examines the epistemic, legal and regulatory (...)
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  7. Differences in Individuation and Vagueness.W. Grafe - 1981 - In Hartkämper A., Schmidt HJ. (eds) Structure and Approximation in Physical Theories. New York City, New York, USA: [ Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply ]. pp. 113-122.
    I. EPISTEMOLOGICAL SUGGESTIONS From an epistemological view, classifying a statement as 'vague' means to judge the statement in question to be a mixture from partial knowledge and partial ignorance. Accordingly it seems desirable to describe the boundary between knowledge and ignorance hidden in the vague statement. -/- Ludwig discusses vagueness in physics, especially vagueness in measuring statements. The example he uses is 'measurement of Euclidean distance', i.e. the meaning of statements which are often written as "d(x,y) = α ± ε", (...)
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  8. Modeling Gender as a Multidimensional Sorites Paradox.Rory W. Collins - 2021 - Hypatia 36 (2):302–320.
    Gender is both indeterminate and multifaceted: many individuals do not fit neatly into accepted gender categories, and a vast number of characteristics are relevant to determining a person's gender. This article demonstrates how these two features, taken together, enable gender to be modeled as a multidimensional sorites paradox. After discussing the diverse terminology used to describe gender, I extend Helen Daly's research into sex classifications in the Olympics and show how varying testosterone levels can be represented using a sorites argument. (...)
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  9. No Context, No Content, No Problem.Ethan Nowak - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (2):189-220.
    Recently, philosophers have offered compelling reasons to think that demonstratives are best represented as variables, sensitive not to the context of utterance, but to a variable assignment. Variablists typically explain familiar intuitions about demonstratives—intuitions that suggest that what is said by way of a demonstrative sentence varies systematically over contexts—by claiming that contexts initialize a particular assignment of values to variables. I argue that we do not need to link context and the assignment parameter in this way, and that we (...)
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  10. Welcome to the Fuzzy-Verse.Eddy Keming Chen - 2020 - New Scientist 247 (3298):36-40.
    We expect the laws of nature that describe the universe to be exact, but what if that isn't true? In this popular science article, I discuss the possibility that some candidate fundamental laws of nature, such as the Past Hypothesis, may be vague. This possibility is in conflict with the idea that the fundamental laws of nature can always and faithfully be described by classical mathematics. -/- [Bibliographic note: this article is featured on the magazine website under a different title (...)
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  11. The Past Hypothesis and the Nature of Physical Laws.Eddy Keming Chen - forthcoming - In Barry Loewer, Eric Winsberg & Brad Weslake (eds.), Time's Arrows and the Probability Structure of the World. Harvard University Press.
    If the Past Hypothesis underlies the arrows of time, what is the status of the Past Hypothesis? In this paper, I examine the role of the Past Hypothesis in the Boltzmannian account and defend the view that the Past Hypothesis is a candidate fundamental law of nature. Such a view is known to be compatible with Humeanism about laws, but as I argue it is also supported by a minimal non-Humean "governing'' view. Some worries arise from the non-dynamical and time-dependent (...)
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  12. Response to Eklund.Elizabeth Barnes & J. Robert G. Williams - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 6.
    This chapter defends the account of metaphysical indeterminacy of Barnes and Williams against Eklund's objections.
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  13. Social Psychology, Phenomenology, and the Indeterminate Content of Unreflective Racial Bias.Alex Madva - 2019 - In Emily S. Lee (ed.), Race as Phenomena: Between Phenomenology and Philosophy of Race. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield International. pp. 87-106.
    Social psychologists often describe “implicit” racial biases as entirely unconscious, and as mere associations between groups and traits, which lack intentional content, e.g., we associate “black” and “athletic” in much the same way we associate “salt” and “pepper.” However, recent empirical evidence consistently suggests that individuals are aware of their implicit biases, albeit in partial, inarticulate, or even distorted ways. Moreover, evidence suggests that implicit biases are not “dumb” semantic associations, but instead reflect our skillful, norm-sensitive, and embodied engagement with (...)
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  14. Moderate Holism: Answering to Criticism and Explaining Linguistic Phenomena.Kênio Estrela - 2018 - Fragmentos de Cultura 28 (n.2):258-270.
    In this paper I present a version of meaning holism proposed by Henry Jackman (1999a, 1999b, 2005 and 2015) entitled "moderate holism". I will argue that this moderate version of holism, in addition to responding to much of the criticism attributed to traditional semantic holism (such as translation, disagreement, change of mind and communication), is also extremely useful to explain the occurrence of several, such as vagueness and polysemy.
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  15. Lopsided Lives.Theron Pummer - 2017 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 275-296.
    Intuitively there are many different things that non-derivatively contribute to well-being: pleasure, desire satisfaction, knowledge, friendship, love, rationality, freedom, moral virtue, and appreciation of true beauty. According to pluralism, at least two different types of things non-derivatively contribute to well-being. Lopsided lives score very low in terms of some types of things that putatively non-derivatively contribute to well-being, but very high in terms of other such types of things. I argue that pluralists essentially face a trilemma about lopsided lives: they (...)
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  16. What Are These Familiar Words Doing Here?: A. W. Moore.A. W. Moore - 2002 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 51:147-171.
    This essay is concerned with six linguistic moves that we commonly make, each of which is considered in turn. These are: stating rules of representation; representing things categorically; mentioning expressions; saying truly or falsely how things are; saying vaguely how things are; and stating rules of rules of representation. A common-sense view is defended of what is involved in our doing each of these six things against a much more sceptical view emanating from the idea that linguistic behavior is fundamentally (...)
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  17. Choreographing the Borderline: Dancing with Kristeva.Joshua M. Hall - 2012 - Philosophy Today 56 (1):49-58.
    In this paper I will investigate Kristeva’s conception of dance in regard to the trope of the borderline. I will begin with her explicit treatments of dance, the earliest of which occurs in Revolution in Poetic Language, in terms of (a) her analogy between poetry and dance as practices erupting on the border of chora and society, (b) her presentation of dance as a phenomenon bordering art and religion in rituals, and (c) her brief remarks on dance gesturality. I will (...)
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  18. The Worseness of Nonexistence.Theron Pummer - 2019 - In Espen Gamlund and Carl Tollef Solberg (ed.), Saving People from the Harm of Death. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 215-228.
    Most believe that it is worse for a person to die than to continue to exist with a good life. At the same time, many believe that it is not worse for a merely possible person never to exist than to exist with a good life. I argue that if the underlying properties that make us the sort of thing we essentially are can come in small degrees, then to maintain this commonly-held pair of beliefs we will have to embrace (...)
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  19. Multiple Reference and Vague Objects.Giovanni Merlo - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2645-2666.
    Kilimanjaro is an example of what some philosophers would call a ‘vague object’: it is only roughly 5895 m tall, its weight is not precise and its boundaries are fuzzy because some particles are neither determinately part of it nor determinately not part of it. It has been suggested that this vagueness arises as a result of semantic indecision: it is because we didn’t make up our mind what the expression “Kilimanjaro” applies to that we can truthfully say such things (...)
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  20. A Live Language: Concreteness, Openness, Ambivalence.Hili Razinsky - 2015 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):51-65.
    Wittgenstein has shown that that life, in the sense that applies in the first place to human beings, is inherently linguistic. In this paper, I ask what is involved in language, given that it is thus essential to life, answering that language – or concepts – must be both alive and the ground for life. This is explicated by a Wittgensteinian series of entailments of features. According to the first feature, concepts are not intentional engagements. The second feature brings life (...)
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  21. Decision-Making Under Indeterminacy.J. Robert G. Williams - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    Decisions are made under uncertainty when there are distinct outcomes of a given action, and one is uncertain to which the act will lead. Decisions are made under indeterminacy when there are distinct outcomes of a given action, and it is indeterminate to which the act will lead. This paper develops a theory of (synchronic and diachronic) decision-making under indeterminacy that portrays the rational response to such situations as inconstant. Rational agents have to capriciously and randomly choose how to resolve (...)
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  22. O konceptualizacji wiedzy nieostrej.Urszula Wybraniec-Skardowska - 1996 - Filozofia Nauki 3.
    In the article the problem of imprecise information and concepts is considered. The theory of rough sets and the theory of fuzzy sets are used to provide an original solution to this problem.
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  23. Unscharfe Grenzen im Umwelt- und Technikrecht.Geert Keil & Ralf Poscher (eds.) - 2012 - Nomos.
    Die Beiträge dieses Bandes untersuchen die Logik schwieriger Grenzziehungen im Umwelt- und Technikrecht aus juristischer, philosophischer, sozial- und ingenieurswissenschaftlicher Perspektive. Sie sind aus der interdisziplinären Tagung "Unscharfe Grenzen im Umwelt- und Technikrecht" hervorgegangen, die im März 2011 an der RWTH Aachen stattgefunden hat.
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  24. BEYOND MODES OF OBJECTIVITY.Robert Albin - 2012 - Logos and Episteme (3):361-371.
    ABSTRACT: Frege, and others who followed him, stressed the role of fallibility as a means to defining ‘objectivity.’ By defining objective judgments as fallible, these philosophers contributed to the consolidation of a theory of objectivity which suggested interpreting epistemological, as well as other judgements, as being objective. An important philosophical implication of this theory lies in its disclosure of the interrelations between truth and objectivity. In light of this insight, and based on an analysis of instances of false (epistemological and (...)
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  25. Vaghezza: Confini, Cumuli E Paradossi.Sebastiano Moruzzi - 2012 - Laterza.
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  26. Do Mountains Exist? Towards an Ontology of Landforms.Barry Smith & David Mark - 2003 - Environment and Planning B (Planning and Design) 30 (3):411–427.
    Do mountains exist? The answer to this question is surely: yes. In fact, ‘mountain’ is the example of a kind of geographic feature or thing most commonly cited by English speakers (Mark, et al., 1999; Smith and Mark 2001), and this result may hold across many languages and cultures. But whether they are considered as individuals (tokens) or as kinds (types), mountains do not exist in quite the same unequivocal sense as do such prototypical everyday objects as chairs or people.
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  27. A Critical Examination of Jiri Priban's "Doing What Comes Naturally, or a Walk on the Wild Side? Stanlet Fish's Antifoundationalist Concept of Law, It's Closure and Force".Ross Motabhoy - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Kent
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  28. Indeterminacy and Vagueness: Logic and Metaphysics.Peter Van Inwagen - 2009 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 1 (2):1 - 19.
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  29. Indeterminacy and Normative Silence.J. R. G. Williams - 2012 - Analysis 72 (2):217-225.
    This paper examines two puzzles of indeterminacy. The first puzzle concerns the hypothesis that there is a unified phenomenon of indeterminacy. How are we to reconcile this with the apparent diversity of reactions that indeterminacy prompts? The second puzzle focuses narrowly on borderline cases of vague predicates. How are we to account for the lack of theoretical consensus about what the proper reaction to borderline cases is? I suggest (building on work by Maudlin) that the characteristic feature of indeterminacy is (...)
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  30. The Presidential Address: Where Demonstratives Meet Vagueness: Possible Languages.Adam Morton - 1999 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 99 (1):1 - 18.
    I present three invented languages, in order to support a claim that vagueness and demonstrativity are related. One of them handles vagueness like English handles demonstratives, the second handles demonstratives like English handles vagueness, and the third combines the resources of the first two. The argument depends on the claim that all three can be learned and used by anyone who can speak English.
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  31. Vagueness, Logic and Use: Four Experimental Studies on Vagueness.Phil Serchuk, Ian Hargreaves & Richard Zach - 2011 - Mind and Language 26 (5):540-573.
    Although arguments for and against competing theories of vagueness often appeal to claims about the use of vague predicates by ordinary speakers, such claims are rarely tested. An exception is Bonini et al. (1999), who report empirical results on the use of vague predicates by Italian speakers, and take the results to count in favor of epistemicism. Yet several methodological difficulties mar their experiments; we outline these problems and devise revised experiments that do not show the same results. We then (...)
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  32. Vague Singulars, Semantic Indecision, and the Metaphysics of Persons.Donald P. Smith - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (3):569-585.
    Composite materialism, as I will understand it, is the view that human persons are composite material objects. This paper develops and investigates an argument, The Vague Singulars Argument, for the falsity of composite materialism. We shall see that cogent or not, the Vague Singulars Argument has philosophically significant ramifications.
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  33. Vagueness in Geography.Achille C. Varzi - 2001 - Philosophy and Geography 4 (1):49–65.
    Some have argued that the vagueness exhibited by geographic names and descriptions such as ‘Albuquerque’, ‘the Outback’, or ‘Mount Everest’ is ultimately ontological: these terms are vague because they refer to vague objects, objects with fuzzy boundaries. I take the opposite stand and hold the view that geographic vagueness is exclusively semantic, or conceptual at large. There is no such thing as a vague mountain. Rather, there are many things where we conceive a mountain to be, each with its precise (...)
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Theories of Vagueness
  1. Vagueness: A Global Approach, by Kit Fine. [REVIEW]Chad Carmichael - 2022 - Review of Metaphysics 75 (3):594-595.
    A review of Kit Fine's book, Vagueness: A Global Approach.
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  2. Interview with Paul Égré.Lina M. Lissia - 2021 - The Reasoner 15 (1):1-3.
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  3. The Early Husserl on Typicality.Hamid Taieb - 2021 - In Arnaud Dewalque, Charlotte Gauvry & Sébastien Richard (eds.), Philosophy of Language in the Brentano School. Cham, Suisse: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 263–278..
    This paper presents and evaluates the early Husserl’s account of typicality. In the Logical Investigations, Husserl holds that the meaning of ordinary language (common) names is sensitive to typicality: this meaning depends on typical examples which vary in different contexts and are more or less similar to one another. This seems to entail that meanings, which according to Husserl are concepts, are “fluctuating” (schwankend) and vague. Prima facie, such a claim contravenes his theory of ideal meanings, or concepts, which are (...)
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  4. O Problema da Vagueza.Sagid Salles - 2016 - Fundamento: Revista de Pesquisa Em Filosofia 1 (12):139-174.
    Este artigo é uma introdução crítica ao problema da vagueza. Não vou explicar ou avaliar as teorias da vagueza aqui. Meu objetivo é introduzir e discutir o próprio problema, com o intuito de alcançar uma formulação clara do mesmo. Minha formulação tornará claro quais condições uma teoria ideal da vagueza deveria satisfazer, assim como os principais obstáculos para desenvolver teorias que satisfaçam estas condições.
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  5. Fundamental Nomic Vagueness.Eddy Keming Chen - 2022 - Philosophical Review 131 (1):1-49.
    If there are fundamental laws of nature, can they fail to be exact? In this paper, I consider the possibility that some fundamental laws are vague. I call this phenomenon 'fundamental nomic vagueness.' I characterize fundamental nomic vagueness as the existence of borderline lawful worlds and the presence of several other accompanying features. Under certain assumptions, such vagueness prevents the fundamental physical theory from being completely expressible in the mathematical language. Moreover, I suggest that such vagueness can be regarded as (...)
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  6. Being Metaphysically Unsettled: Barnes and Williams on Metaphysical Indeterminacy and Vagueness.Matti Eklund - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 6:6.
    This chapter discusses the defence of metaphysical indeterminacy by Elizabeth Barnes and Robert Williams and discusses a classical and bivalent theory of such indeterminacy. Even if metaphysical indeterminacy arguably is intelligible, Barnes and Williams argue in favour of it being so and this faces important problems. As for classical logic and bivalence, the chapter problematizes what exactly is at issue in this debate. Can reality not be adequately described using different languages, some classical and some not? Moreover, it is argued (...)
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  7. Tolerance and the Distributed Sorites.Zach Barnett - 2019 - Synthese 196 (3):1071-1077.
    On some accounts of vagueness, predicates like “is a heap” are tolerant. That is, their correct application tolerates sufficiently small changes in the objects to which they are applied. Of course, such views face the sorites paradox, and various solutions have been proposed. One proposed solution involves banning repeated appeals to tolerance, while affirming tolerance in any individual case. In effect, this solution rejects the reasoning of the sorites argument. This paper discusses a thorny problem afflicting this approach to vagueness. (...)
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  8. Moral Realism and Semantic Accounts of Moral Vagueness.Ali Abasnezhad - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-13.
    Miriam Schoenfield argues that moral realism and moral vagueness imply ontic vagueness. In particular, she argues that neither shifty nor rigid semantic accounts of vagueness can provide a satisfactory explanation of moral vagueness for moral realists. This paper constitutes a response. I argue that Schoenfield's argument against the shifty semantic account presupposes that moral indeterminacies can, in fact, be resolved determinately by crunching through linguistic data. I provide different reasons for rejecting this assumption. Furthermore, I argue that Schoenfield's rejection of (...)
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  9. Vagueness as Indecision.J. Robert G. Williams - 2016 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 90 (1):285-309.
    This essay explores the thesis that for vague predicates, uncertainty over whether a borderline instance x of red/large/tall/good is to be understood as practical uncertainty over whether to treat x as red/large/tall/good. Expressivist and quasi-realist treatments of vague predicates due to John MacFarlane and Daniel Elstein provide the stalking-horse. It examines the notion of treating/counting a thing as F , and links a central question about our attitudes to vague predications to normative evaluation of plans to treat a thing as (...)
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  10. Philosophical & Jurisprudential Issues of Vagueness.Stephen Schiffer - forthcoming - In Geert Keil & Poscher (ed.), Vagueness and the Law: Philosophical and Legal Approaches. Not yet known.
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  11. Unruly Words: A Study of Vague Language. [REVIEW]Jonas Åkerman - 2014 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 201403.
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  12. Review of Vagueness.Adam Morton - 1995 - Philosophical Books 36 (4):272-276.
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  13. Metaphysical Vagueness and Metaphysical Indeterminacy.Matti Eklund - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (2):165-179.
    The topic of this paper is whether there is metaphysical vagueness. It is shown that it is important to distinguish between the general phenomenon of indeterminacy and the more narrow phenomenon of vagueness. Relatedly, it is important to distinguish between metaphysical indeterminacy and metaphysical vagueness. One can wish to allow metaphysical indeterminacy but rule out metaphysical vagueness. As is discussed in the paper, central argument against metaphysical vagueness, like those of Gareth Evans and Mark Sainsbury, would if successful rule out (...)
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  14. Vague Reference and Approximating Judgements.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2003 - Spatial Cognition and Computation 3 (2):137–156.
    We propose a new account of vagueness and approximation in terms of the theory of granular partitions. We distinguish different kinds of crisp and non-crisp granular partitions and we describe the relations between them, concentrating especially on spatial examples. We describe the practice whereby subjects use regular grid-like reference partitions as a means for tempering the vagueness of their judgments, and we demonstrate how the theory of reference partitions can yield a natural account of this practice, which is referred to (...)
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  15. Granular Partitions and Vagueness.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2003 - In Chris Welty & Barry Smith (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS). New York, USA: ACM Press. pp. 309-320.
    There are some who defend a view of vagueness according to which there are intrinsically vague objects or attributes in reality. Here, in contrast, we defend a view of vagueness as a semantic property of names and predicates. All entities are crisp, on this view, but there are, for each vague name, multiple portions of reality that are equally good candidates for being its referent, and, for each vague predicate, multiple classes of objects that are equally good candidates for being (...)
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  16. Aristoteles 2002.Barry Smith - 2003 - In T. Buchheim (ed.), Kann man heute noch etwas anfangen mit Aristoteles? Meiner. pp. 3-38.
    The essay surveys recent developments in ontology and defends a strategy for improvement of ontologies based on ontological realism. As a thought experiment, we consider central theses of Aristotelian metaphysics, and show how they fall short of what we believe to be the requirements of ontology today. Above all, Aristotle provides us with no strategy for the reconciliation of common-sense realism and scientific realism where these diverge. We focus specifically on shortfalls in Aristotle’s treatment of individual accidents, especially in regard (...)
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  17. The Presidential Address: Where Demonstratives Meet Vagueness: Possible Languages.Adam Morton - 1999 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 99 (1):1 - 18.
    I present three invented languages, in order to support a claim that vagueness and demonstrativity are related. One of them handles vagueness like English handles demonstratives, the second handles demonstratives like English handles vagueness, and the third combines the resources of the first two. The argument depends on the claim that all three can be learned and used by anyone who can speak English.
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1 — 50 / 361