Knowing What One Likes: Epistemicist Solution to Faultless Disagreement

Acta Analytica (forthcoming)
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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that the phenomenon of faultless disagreement for predicates of taste may be fruitfully explained by appealing to the vagueness of predicates of taste and the epistemicist reading of vagueness as defended by Timothy Williamson (1994). I begin by arguing that this position is better suited to explain both the “faultless” and “disagreement” intuition. The first is explained here by appealing to the necessary ignorance of the predicate’s boundaries and a plausible account of constitutive norms of taste assertions, while the second by insisting on classical, absolutist semantics for judgments containing predicates of taste. Furthermore, I analyze the arguments against the reading of taste predicates as vague based on the alleged epistemic privilege concerning one’s taste and on the lack of definite cases. Responding to these objections, I develop a plausible account of constitutive norms of taste assertions, comment on the assumed epistemic privilege concerning taste ascriptions and provide a more detailed account of sources of the vagueness of predicates of personal taste, which I dub “super-vagueness.”

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Maciej Tarnowski
University of Warsaw

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