Vagueness and Second‐Level Indeterminacy
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.
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