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Vagueness and Degrees of Truth$
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Nicholas J. J. Smith

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199233007

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199233007.001.0001

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Accommodating Vagueness

Accommodating Vagueness

(p.175) 4 Accommodating Vagueness
Vagueness and Degrees of Truth

Nicholas J. J. Smith (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that only those theories of vagueness that countenance degrees of truth can allow for the existence of predicates that satisfy the Closeness definition. More precisely, it argues that given the existence of a Sorites series for the predicate F, there is no way to accommodate the claim that F conforms to Closeness without accepting the idea that truth comes in degrees. The upshot is that there is a need for a theory of vagueness that countenances degrees of truth — provided, of course, that vagueness is correctly defined in terms of Closeness. The chapter provides the positive argument in favour of the latter claim in the previous chapter. It concludes the case for Closeness by providing negative arguments to the effect that alternative definitions which might be proposed as its replacement do not share its advantages.

Keywords:   epistemicism, truth, supervaluationism, plurivaluationsm, contextualism, Closeness definition, Sorites series

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