Research@StAndrews
 
The University of St Andrews

Research@StAndrews:FullText >
Philosophical, Anthropological & Film Studies (School of) >
Philosophy >
Philosophy Theses >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10023/508
This item has been viewed 133 times in the last year. View Statistics

Files in This Item:

File Description SizeFormat
Elia Zardini PhD thesis.pdf1.29 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
Title: Living on the slippery slope : the nature, sources and logic of vagueness
Authors: Zardini, Elia
Supervisors: Wright, Crispin
Greenough, Patrick
Keywords: Appearances
Borderline cases
Change
Forced-march paradox
Higher-order vagueness
Sorites paradox
Tolerance principles
Tolerant logics
Transitivity of consequence
Vague identity
Vagueness
Issue Date: 25-Jun-2008
Abstract: According to the dominant approach in the theory of vagueness, the nature of the vagueness of an expression ‘F’ consists in its presenting borderline cases in an appropriately ordered series: objects which are neither definitely F nor definitely not F (where the notion of definiteness can be semantic, ontic, epistemic, psychological or primitive). In view of the various problems faced by theories of vagueness adopting the dominant approach, the thesis proposes to reconsider the naive theory of vagueness, according to which the nature of the vagueness of an expression consists in its not drawing boundaries between any neighbouring objects in an appropriately ordered series. It is argued that expressions and concepts which do present this feature play an essential role in our cognitive and practical life, allowing us to conceptualize—in a way which would otherwise be impossible—the typically coarse-grained distinctions we encounter in reality. Despite its strong initial plausibility and ability to explain many phenomena of vagueness, the naive theory is widely rejected because thought to be shown inconsistent by the sorites paradox. In reply, it is first argued that accounts of vagueness based on the dominant approach are themselves subject to higher-order sorites paradoxes. The paradox is then solved on behalf of the naive theory by rejecting the unrestricted transitivity of the consequence relation on a vague language; a family of logics apt for reasoning with vague expressions is proposed and studied (using models with partially ordered values). The characteristic philosophical and logical consequences of this novel solution are developed and defended in detail. In particular, it is shown how the analysis of what happens in the attempt of surveying a sorites series and deciding each case allows the naive theory to recover a "thin" notion of a borderline case.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10023/508
Type: Thesis
Publisher: University of St Andrews
Appears in Collections:Philosophy Theses



This item is protected by original copyright

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License
Creative Commons

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

 

DSpace Software Copyright © 2002-2012  Duraspace - Feedback
For help contact: Digital-Repository@st-andrews.ac.uk | Copyright for this page belongs to St Andrews University Library | Terms and Conditions (Cookies)