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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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Vague Properties

Vague Properties

(p.109) 6 Vague Properties
Cuts and Clouds

Stephen Schiffer

Oxford University Press

‘Quandary’ labels a psychological state that is characteristic of taking a thing to be a borderline instance of a property. Q-Constraint is the claim that there need be nothing incorrect about being in Quandary. A truth-status theory of vague properties assigns a particular truth-status (e.g. being true or false, being neither true nor false) to the proposition that x is an instance of φ‎ when x is a borderline instance of φ‎. This chapter argues that no truth-status theory is consistent with Q-Constraint and sketches a non-truth-status theory of vague properties that satisfies Q-Constraint. A crucial feature of the sketch is that vague properties are individuated in a way that affords us epistemic and linguistic access to them by the very use-practices that determine which vague properties words express.

Keywords:   borderline instance, Q-Constraint, Quandary, truth-status theory, vague properties

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