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Conditionals, Paradox, and ProbabilityThemes from the Philosophy of Dorothy Edgington$
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Lee Walters and John Hawthorne

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198712732

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198712732.001.0001

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Verities and Truth-values

Verities and Truth-values

(p.239) 15 Verities and Truth-values
Conditionals, Paradox, and Probability

Nicholas K. Jones

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Edgington’s probabilistic, degree-theoretic semantics for vagueness. After describing Edgington’s semantics, her suggestion that it and classical semantics provide non-competing descriptions of a single phenomenon is examined. It is argued that the suggestion should be rejected because classical semantics is incompatible with plausible principles about the relationship between the two frameworks. Edgington also argues that the many degrees assigned to sentences in her semantics are not new truth-values. It is argued that these arguments presuppose a certain non-semantic conception of truth. Although Edgington’s arguments do force a distinction between two theoretical roles typically associated with the notion of truth, one properly semantic and one merely expressive, they do not preclude identification of the many degrees of her probabilistic formalism with new truth-values in the semantic sense.

Keywords:   vagueness, Edgington, truth, degrees of truth, verities, probabilistic semantics

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