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The Journal of Philosophy

Volume 114, Issue 5, May 2017

Trenton Merricks
Pages 221-250
DOI: 10.5840/jphil2017114518

Locating Vagueness

The claim that all vagueness must be a feature of language or thought is the current orthodoxy. This is a claim about the “location” of vagueness. “Locating Vagueness” argues that this claim is false, largely by defending the possibility of borderline cases in the absence of language and thought. If the orthodoxy about the location of vagueness is false, then so too is any account of the “nature” of vagueness that implies that orthodoxy. So this paper concludes that various accounts of the nature of vagueness are false. Among such accounts, so this paper argues, are the standard versions of supervaluationism and the standard versions of epistemicism. So I conclude that those accounts are false. Along the way, I present, and uncover ways to motivate, several heretical accounts of the nature of vagueness, including nonstandard versions of both supervaluationism and epistemicism.