Vagueness and Thought

ISBN : 9780198712060

Andrew Bacon
368 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
May 2018
Oxford Philosophical Monographs
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Vagueness is the study of concepts that admit borderline cases. The property of being tall is vague because there are people who are neither definitely tall, nor definitely not tall. The epistemology of vagueness concerns the sorts of attitudes we ought to have towards propositions we know to be borderline. Andrew Bacon undertakes a comprehensive investigation into the epistemology of vagueness, leveraging the results into a novel theory of vagueness. In contrast to many competing accounts, vagueness is seen as a feature of propositions, rather than items of language, and the vagueness of a proposition is explicated in terms of its role in thought. Bacon gives illuminating treatments of a range of topics concerning the relation of vagueness to evidence, knowledge, probability theory, decision theory, and modality. He suggests that some familiar philosophical notions -- including the concept of a fundamental proposition, a possible world, and a precisification -- need to be revised.


Part I: Background
1 Non-Classical and Nihilistic Approaches
2 Classical Approaches: An Overview of the Current Debate
3 An Outline of a Theory of Propositional Vagueness
Part II: Epistemological Matters
4 Vagueness and Language
5 Vagueness and Ignorance
6 Vagueness and Evidence
7 Probabilism, Assertion and Higher-order Vagueness
8 Vagueness and Uncertainty
9 Vagueness and Decision
10 Vagueness and Desire
Part III: Logical Matters
11 Vague Propositions
12 Vagueness and Precision
13 Symmetry Semantics
14 Vagueness and the World
15 Vagueness and Modality
16 Vague Objects
17 Beyond Vagueness
18 Appendices

About the author: 

Andrew Bacon is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California. His work typically applies the methods of philosophical logic to issues in metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of language. Recently he has worked on vagueness, the semantic paradoxes, and logic and epistemology of conditional statements.

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