The Problem with Truthmaker-Gap Epistemicism


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Epistemicism about vagueness is the view that vagueness, or indeterminacy, is an epistemic matter. Truthmaker-gap epistemicism is the view that indeterminate truths are indeterminate because their truth is not grounded by any worldly fact. Both epistemicism in general and truthmaker-gap epistemicism originated in Roy Sorensen's work on vagueness. My aim in this paper is to give a characterization of truthmaker-gap epistemicism and argue that the view is incompatible with higher-order vagueness: vagueness in whether some case of the form ‘it is determinate that A’ or ‘it is indeterminate whether A’ is true. Since it is highly likely that there is higher-order vagueness (and indeed, Sorensen is adamant that there is higher-order vagueness), truthmaker-gap epistemicism is in an uncomfortable position.