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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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Fuzzy Epistemicism

Fuzzy Epistemicism

(p.438) 25 Fuzzy Epistemicism
Cuts and Clouds

John MacFarlane

Oxford University Press

Much of the literature on vagueness has taken for granted that semantic and epistemic approaches to vagueness are fundamentally at odds. If we can analyze borderline cases and the Sorites paradox in terms of degrees of truth, then we do not need an epistemic explanation. Conversely, if an epistemic explanation suffices, then there is no reason to depart from the familiar simplicity of classical bivalent semantics. This chapter questions this assumption, showing that there is an intelligible motivation for adopting a many-valued semantics, even if one accepts a form of epistemicism. The resulting hybrid view has advantages over both classical epistemicism and traditional many-valued approaches.

Keywords:   literature on vagueness, epistemicism, many-valued semantics, degrees of truth, fuzzy logic, Sorites paradox

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