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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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Supervaluationism and the Report of Vague Contents

Supervaluationism and the Report of Vague Contents

Chapter:
(p.345) 19 Supervaluationism and the Report of Vague Contents
Source:
Cuts and Clouds
Author(s):

Manuel García‐Carpintero

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570386.003.0020

In recent papers, Schiffer advances an argument against supervaluationist accounts of vagueness, based on reports of vague contents. From a perspective more congenial to supervaluationism than Schiffer's, McGee and McLaughlin also pose a related problem about de re ascriptions of propositional attitudes and indirect discourse. The difficulty is gestured at in this argument by Wright: ‘there are additional concerns about the ability of supervaluational proposals to track our intuitions concerning the extension of ‘true’ among statements involving vague vocabulary: ‘No one can knowledgeably identify a precise boundary between those who are tall and those who are not’ is plausibly a true claim which is not true under any admissible way of making ‘tall’ precise. This chapter develops a defence of supervaluationism based on the point that the problematic occurrences of singular terms occur in indirect discourse, and supervaluationists may allow that they shift their referent there. Schiffer dismisses a proposal like this, mainly because it ‘undermines . . . a leading virtue of supervaluationism . . . its implication that vagueness is . . . not a feature of the world’. This chapter argues on the contrary that the reply does not undermine the fundamental contentions of the supervaluationist account.

Keywords:   vague, truth, correspondence, disquotational, semantic indecision, vague objects, Schiffer

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