Thanks to D.M. Armstrong, Kent Bach, James Cargile, Anthony Ellis, Anthony Everett, John Hawthorne, Mark Heller, David Lewis, Brian McLaughlin, Eugene Mills, Alvin Plantinga, Diana Raffman, Michael Rea, Theodore Sider, Roy Sorensen, Peter Vallentyne, Dean Zimmerman, an anonymous referee, and, especially, Eli Hirsch for helpful comments on various drafts of this paper. A version of this paper was presented at the 1997 Mighty [sic] Midwestern Metaphysics Mayhem [sic] conference at the University of Notre Dame, the 1998 Symposium in Metaphysics at Franklin and Marshall College, and the 1998 Pacific Division Meeting of the APA. Work on this paper was supported, in part, by a grant from the Pew Evangelical Scholars Program.
Varieties of Vagueness*
Article first published online: 29 MAY 2007
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Volume 62, Issue 1, pages 145–157, January 2001
How to Cite
MERRICKS, T. (2001), Varieties of Vagueness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 62: 145–157. doi: 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2001.tb00045.x
- Issue published online: 29 MAY 2007
- Article first published online: 29 MAY 2007
According to one account, vagueness is “metaphysical.” the friend of metaphysical vagueness believes that, for some object and some property, there can be no determinate fact of the matter whether that object exemplifies that property. A second account maintains that vagueness is due only to ignorance. According to the epistemic account, vagueness is explained completely by and is nothing over and above our not knowing some relevant fact or facts. These are the minority views. the dominant position maintains that there is a third possible variety of vagueness, linguistic vagueness. And, it goes on to insist, all vagueness is of this third variety. I shall argue, however, that linguistic vagueness is not a third variety of vagueness. Either it is a species of metaphysical vagueness or a kind of ignorance. and this, I argue, makes trouble for the claim that all vagueness is linguistic.