Some Remarks on Russell's Account of Vagueness

Contemporary Philosophy 3: 52 - 57 (1999)
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According to Russell, the notation in Principia Mathematica has been designed to avoid the vagueness endemic to our natural language. But what does Russell think vagueness is? My argument is an attempt to show that his views on vagueness evolved and that the final conception he adopts is not coherent. Three phases of his conception of vagueness are identified, the most significant being the view that he articulates on vagueness in his 1923 address to the Jowett Society. My central thesis is that the 1912 conception of vagueness -- what I characterize as "semantic egalitarianism" -- seriously conflicts with the later paradoxical account of vagueness.
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