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Cuts and CloudsVagueness, its Nature, & its Logic$
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Richard Dietz and Sebastiano Moruzzi

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570386

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570386.001.0001

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This Magic Moment: Horwich on the Boundaries of Vague Terms

This Magic Moment: Horwich on the Boundaries of Vague Terms

(p.200) 11 This Magic Moment: Horwich on the Boundaries of Vague Terms
Cuts and Clouds

Hartry Field

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the counter-intuitive aspects of the epistemic theory of vagueness run deeper than is sometimes appreciated, and that Horwich's variant of epistemicism does not help with them. It considers the suggestion that we escape the problems with the epistemic theory by weakening the law of excluded middle as applied to vague language. It argues that standard ‘fuzzy logics’ are ultimately of no help with vagueness because they generate operators that draw sharp lines. But there are alternative ‘fuzzy logics’ that avoid these problems. Moreover, there are intuitive connections between the semantic paradoxes and the paradoxes of vagueness, and the fuzzy logics that avoid sharp lines seem to be just the ones that are compatible with making True() equivalent to p even in face of the semantic paradoxes. This chapter tentatively recommends treating vagueness and the semantic paradoxes together, using the same non-classical logic for both.

Keywords:   Horwich, boundaries, fuzzy logic, theory of vagueness, indeterminacy, least number principle, intuitive connections, semantic paradoxes, paradoxes of vagueness

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