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Neutralism and the Observational Sorites Paradox

In Ali Abasnezhad & Otavio Bueno (eds.), Synthese Special Edition. Springer (forthcoming)

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  1. The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics.Alfred Tarski - 1943 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 4 (3):341-376.
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  • Neutralism and Conceptual Engineering.Patrick Greenough - forthcoming - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Conceptual Engineering alleges that philosophical problems are best treated via revising or replacing our concepts (or words). The goal here is not to defend Conceptual Engineering but rather show that it can (and should) invoke Neutralism—the broad view that philosophical progress can take place when (and sometimes only when) a thoroughly neutral, non-specific theory, treatment, or methodology is adopted. A neutralist treatment of one form of skepticism is used as a case study and is compared with various non-neutral rivals. Along (...)
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  • Indeterminate Truth.Patrick Greenough - 2008 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 32 (1):213-241.
    In §2-4, I survey three extant ways of making sense of indeterminate truth and find each of them wanting. All the later sections of the paper are concerned with showing that the most promising way of making sense of indeterminate truth is via either a theory of truthmaker gaps or via a theory of truthmaking gaps. The first intimations of a truthmaker–truthmaking gap theory of indeterminacy are to be found in Quine (1981). In §5, we see how Quine proposes to (...)
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  • Tolerant, Classical, Strict.Pablo Cobreros, Paul Egré, David Ripley & Robert van Rooij - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (2):347-385.
    In this paper we investigate a semantics for first-order logic originally proposed by R. van Rooij to account for the idea that vague predicates are tolerant, that is, for the principle that if x is P, then y should be P whenever y is similar enough to x. The semantics, which makes use of indifference relations to model similarity, rests on the interaction of three notions of truth: the classical notion, and two dual notions simultaneously defined in terms of it, (...)
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  • Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
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  • Hedges: A Study in Meaning Criteria and the Logic of Fuzzy Concepts. [REVIEW]George Lakoff - 1973 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 2 (4):458 - 508.
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  • Colors, Normal Observers and Standard Conditions.Clyde L. Hardin - 1983 - Journal of Philosophy 80 (December):806-13.
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  • Further Reflections on the Sorites Paradox.Crispin Wright - 1987 - Philosophical Topics 15 (1):227-290.
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  • Truth.Paul Horwich - 1999 - In Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (eds.), Erkenntnis. Oxford University Press. pp. 261-272.
    What is truth. Paul Horwich advocates the controversial theory of minimalism, that is that the nature of truth is entirely captured in the trivial fact that each proposition specifies its own condition for being true, and that truth is therefore an entirely mundane and unpuzzling concept. The first edition of Truth, published in 1980, established itself as the best account of minimalism and as an excellent introduction to the debate for students. For this new edition, Horwich has refined and developed (...)
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  • Truth.Paul Horwich - 1998 - Clarendon Press.
    Paul Horwich gives the definitive exposition of a prominent philosophical theory about truth, `minimalism'. His theory has attracted much attention since the first edition of Truth in 1990; he has now developed, refined, and updated his treatment of the subject, while preserving the distinctive format of the book. This revised edition appears simultaneously with a new companion volume, Meaning; the two books demystify central philosophical issues, and will be essential reading for all who work on the philosophy of language.
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  • The Reach of Science.Henryk Mehlberg - 1958 - Studia Logica 9:258-260.
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  • Testability and Meaning.Henry S. Leonard & Rudolf Carnap - 1937 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 2 (1):49.
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  • Sorting Out the Sorites.David Ripley - 2013 - In Francesco Berto, Edwin Mares & Koji Tanaka (eds.), Paraconsistency: Logic and Applications. pp. 329-348.
    Supervaluational theories of vagueness have achieved considerable popularity in the past decades, as seen in eg [5], [12]. This popularity is only natural; supervaluations let us retain much of the power and simplicity of classical logic, while avoiding the commitment to strict bivalence that strikes many as implausible. Like many nonclassical logics, the supervaluationist system SP has a natural dual, the subvaluationist system SB, explored in eg [6], [28].1 As is usual for such dual systems, the classical features of SP (...)
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  • Deflationism and Truth-Value Gaps.Patrick Greenough - 2010 - In Nikolaj Pedersen & Cory D. Wright (eds.), New Waves inTruth. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Central to any form of Deflationism concerning truth (hereafter ‘DT’) is the claim that truth has no substantial theoretical role to play. For this reason, DT faces the following immediate challenge: if truth can play no substantial theoretical role then how can we model various prevalent kinds of indeterminacy—such as the indeterminacy exhibited by vague predicates, future contingents, liar sentences, truth-teller sentences, incomplete stipulations, cases of presupposition failure, and such-like? It is too hasty to assume that these phenomena are all (...)
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  • Is Perceptual Indiscriminability Nontransitive?Diana Raffman - 2000 - Philosophical Topics 28 (1):153-75.
    It is widely supposed that one family of sorites paradoxes, perhaps the most perplexing versions of the puzzle, owe at least in part to the nontransitivity of perceptual indiscriminability. To a first approximation, perceptual indiscriminability is the relationship obtaining among objects (stimuli) that appear identical in some perceptual respect—for example hue, or pitch, or texture. Indiscriminable objects look the same, or sound the same, or feel the same. Received wisdom has it that there are or could be series of objects (...)
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  • From Heaps and Gaps to Heaps of Gluts.D. Hyde - 1997 - Mind 106 (424):641-660.
    One of the few points of agreement to be found in mainstream responses to the logical and semantic problems generated by vagueness is the view that if any modification of classical logic and semantics is required at all then it will only be such as to admit underdetermined reference and truth-value gaps. Logics of vagueness including many valued logics, fuzzy logics, and supervaluation logics all provide responses in accord with this view. The thought that an adequate response might require the (...)
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  • Vagueness: A Minimal Theory.Patrick Greenough - 2003 - Mind 112 (446):235-281.
    Vagueness is given a philosophically neutral definition in terms of an epistemic notion of tolerance. Such a notion is intended to capture the thesis that vague terms draw no known boundary across their range of signification and contrasts sharply with the semantic notion of tolerance given by Wright (1975, 1976). This allows us to distinguish vagueness from superficially similar but distinct phenomena such as semantic incompleteness. Two proofs are given which show that vagueness qua epistemic tolerance and vagueness qua borderline (...)
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  • On Being in a Quandary. Relativism Vagueness Logical Revisionism.C. J. G. Wright - 2001 - Mind 110 (437):45--98.
    This paper addresses three problems: the problem of formulating a coherent relativism, the Sorites paradox and a seldom noticed difficulty in the best intuitionistic case for the revision of classical logic. A response to the latter is proposed which, generalised, contributes towards the solution of the other two. The key to this response is a generalised conception of indeterminacy as a specific kind of intellectual bafflement - Quandary. Intuitionistic revisions of classical logic are merited wherever a subject matter is conceived (...)
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  • Phenomenal Continua and the Sorites.Delia Graff Fara - 2001 - Mind 110 (440):905-935.
    I argue that, contrary to widespread philosophical opinion, phenomenal indiscriminability is transitive. For if it were not transitive, we would be precluded from accepting the truisms that if two things look the same then the way they look is the same and that if two things look the same then if one looks red, so does the other. Nevertheless, it has seemed obvious to many philosophers (e.g. Goodman, Armstrong and Dummett) that phenomenal indiscriminability is not transitive; and, moreover, that this (...)
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  • Are Vague Predicates Incoherent?Christopher Peacocke - 1981 - Synthese 46 (1):121-141.
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  • Further Reflections on the Sorites Paradox.Crispin Wright - 1987 - Philosophical Topics 15 (1):227-290.
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  • Phenomenal Colors and Sorites.C. L. Hardin - 1988 - Noûs 22 (2):213-34.
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  • Truth, Belief, and Vagueness.Kenton F. Machina - 1976 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 5 (1):47-78.
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  • Vagueness, Truth and Logic.Kit Fine - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):265-300.
    This paper deals with the truth-Conditions and the logic for vague languages. The use of supervaluations and of classical logic is defended; and other approaches are criticized. The truth-Conditions are extended to a language that contains a definitely-Operator and that is subject to higher order vagueness.
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  • On the Coherence of Vague Predicates.Crispin Wright - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):325--65.
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  • Higher-Order Sorites Paradox.Elia Zardini - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (1):25-48.
    The naive theory of vagueness holds that the vagueness of an expression consists in its failure to draw a sharp boundary between positive and negative cases. The naive theory is contrasted with the nowadays dominant approach to vagueness, holding that the vagueness of an expression consists in its presenting borderline cases of application. The two approaches are briefly compared in their respective explanations of a paramount phenomenon of vagueness: our ignorance of any sharp boundary between positive and negative cases. These (...)
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  • On What It is to Be in a Quandary.Patrick Greenough - 2009 - Synthese 171 (3):399 - 408.
    A number of serious problems are raised against Crispin Wright’s quandary conception of vagueness. Two alternative conceptions of the quandary view are proposed instead. The first conception retains Wright’s thesis that, for all one knows, a verdict concerning a borderline case constitutes knowledge. However a further problem is seen to beset this conception. The second conception, in response to this further problem, does not enjoin the thesis that, for all one knows, a verdict concerning a borderline case constitutes knowledge. The (...)
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  • Robust Vagueness and the Forced-March Sorites Paradox.Terence Horgan - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):159-188.
    I distinguish two broad approaches to vagueness that I call "robust" and "wimpy". Wimpy construals explain vagueness as robust (i.e., does not manifest arbitrary precision); that standard approaches to vagueness, like supervaluationism or appeals to degrees of truth, wrongly treat vagueness as wimpy; that vagueness harbors an underlying logical incoherence; that vagueness in the world is therefore impossible; and that the kind of logical incoherence nascent in vague terms and concepts is benign rather than malignant. I describe some implications for (...)
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  • A Model of Tolerance.Elia Zardini - 2008 - Studia Logica 90 (3):337-368.
    According to the naive theory of vagueness, the vagueness of an expression consists in the existence of both positive and negative cases of application of the expression and in the non- existence of a sharp cut-off point between them. The sorites paradox shows the naive theory to be inconsistent in most logics proposed for a vague language. The paper explores the prospects of saving the naive theory by revising the logic in a novel way, placing principled restrictions on the transitivity (...)
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  • Inconsistent Languages.Ma'iti Eklund - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):251-275.
    The main thesis of this paper is that we sometimes are disposed to accept false and even jointly inconsistent claims by virtue of our semantic competence, and that this comes to light in the sorites and liar paradoxes. Among the subsidiary theses are that this is an important source of indeterminacy in truth conditions, that we must revise basic assumptions about semantic competence, and that classical logic and bivalence can be upheld in the face of the sorites paradox.
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  • Distinctions Without a Difference.Vann McGee & Brian McLaughlin - 1995 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 33 (S1):203-251.
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  • Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
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  • Vagueness and Degrees of Truth. [REVIEW]Nicholas Smith - 2010 - Analysis 70 (1):188-190.
    Vagueness and Degrees of Truth is both a sharply written introduction to the philosophical logic of vagueness and a persuasive defence of Smith's favoured theory: what he calls ‘fuzzy plurivaluationism’. It proceeds in three parts: first, a presentation of a number of going formal theories of the semantics of vague language; second, an extended argument that only a fuzzy or degree semantics can be the right semantics for vague language; and third, a defence of a particular fuzzy semantics against a (...)
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  • Vagueness Without Paradox.Diana Raffman - 1994 - Philosophical Review 103 (1):41-74.
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  • Observational Terms.Fred I. Dretske - 1964 - Philosophical Review 73 (January):25-42.
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  • Sorites Paradoxes and the Semantics of Vagueness.Michael Tye - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8:189-206.
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  • The Semantic Paradoxes: A Diagnostic Investigation.Charles Chihara - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (4):590-618.
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  • Vagueness and Degrees of Truth.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2010 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 16 (4):533-535.
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  • The Methodological Character of Theoretical Concepts.R. Carnap - 1956 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1 (1):38--76.
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  • Validity, Uncertainty and Vagueness.Dorothy Edgington - 1992 - Analysis 52 (4):193 - 204.
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  • Wittgenstein's Metaphilosophy.Paul Horwich - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Paul Horwich presents a bold new interpretation of Wittgenstein's later work. He argues that it is Wittgenstein's radically anti-theoretical metaphilosophy - and not his identification of the meaning of a word with its use - that underpins his discussions of specific issues concerning language, the mind, mathematics, knowledge, art, and religion.
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  • The Theoretician's Dilemma: A Study in the Logic of Theory Construction.Carl G. Hempel - 1958 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 2:173-226.
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  • A Paraconsistent Model of Vagueness.Z. Weber - 2010 - Mind 119 (476):1025-1045.
    Vague predicates, on a paraconsistent account, admit overdetermined borderline cases. I take up a new line on the paraconsistent approach, to show that there is a close structural relationship between the breakdown of soritical progressions, and contradiction. Accordingly, a formal picture drawn from an appropriate logic shows that any cut-off point of a vague predicate is unidentifiable, in a precise sense. A paraconsistent approach predicts and explains many of the most counterintuitive aspects of vagueness, in terms of a more fundamental (...)
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  • Vagueness and Mathematical Precision.Roy T. Cook - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):225-247.
    One of the main reasons for providing formal semantics for languages is that the mathematical precision afforded by such semantics allows us to study and manipulate the formalization much more easily than if we were to study the relevant natural languages directly. Michael Tye and R. M. Sainsbury have argued that traditional set-theoretic semantics for vague languages are all but useless, however, since this mathematical precision eliminates the very phenomenon (vagueness) that we are trying to capture. Here we meet this (...)
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  • Vagueness and Contradiction.Roy Sorensen - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):695-703.
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  • Philosophical Foundations of Physics;.Rudolf Carnap - 1966 - New York: Basic Books.
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  • Discrimination and Self-Knowledge.Patrick Greenough - 2012 - In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    In this paper I show that a variety of Cartesian Conceptions of the mental are unworkable. In particular, I offer a much weaker conception of limited discrimination than the one advanced by Williamson (2000) and show that this weaker conception, together with some plausible background assumptions, is not only able to undermine the claim that our core mental states are luminous (roughly: if one is in such a state then one is in a position to know that one is) but (...)
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  • The Logic of Inexact Concepts.J. A. Goguen - 1969 - Synthese 19 (3-4):325-373.
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  • A Site for Sorites.Graham Priest - 2004 - In J. C. Beall (ed.), Liars and Heaps: New Essays on Paradox. Clarendon Press.
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  • Vagueness and Alternative Logic.Hilary Putnam - 1983 - Erkenntnis 19 (1-3):297 - 314.
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