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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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Vagueness and Second‐Level Indeterminacy

Vagueness and Second‐Level Indeterminacy

(p.63) 3 Vagueness and Second‐Level Indeterminacy
Cuts and Clouds

Matti Eklund

Oxford University Press

Many theorists of vagueness take vagueness to be bound up with indeterminacy in a way that conflicts with classical logic and bivalence. Others, epistemicists like Timothy Williamson, hold that the only indeterminacy bound up with vagueness is epistemic — vagueness is just bound up with a certain kind of ignorance — and that vagueness does not conflict with classical logic and bivalence. Both types of view face well-known problems. This chapter presents a view on vagueness that sidesteps them. Let a sentence be first-level indeterminate if there are acceptable assignments of semantic values under which it lacks a classical, determinate truth-value; and let a sentence be second-level indeterminate if it has different truth-values under different assignments of semantic values. What this chapter proposes is that vagueness is primarily bound up with second-level indeterminacy, rather than first-level indeterminacy. In the course of defending this proposal, the chapter compares it to supervaluationism, which superficially can appear similar.

Keywords:   vagueness, indeterminacy, epistemicism, supervaluationism, classical logic, bivalence

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