The Sorites Paradox
Heller (Mark)
Source: Heller - The Ontology of Physical Objects, Chapter 3
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract1

  1. In the third chapter2 I present my case against the standard ontology.
  2. The objects of our standard ontology are vague, and of all the possible ways of handling vagueness, the only acceptable one is to accept the conventionality of the standard ontology.
  3. If we assume that the standard objects are not conventional, then they must either have precise temporal boundaries or imprecise temporal boundaries.
  4. I argue that the boundaries of a nonconventional object cannot be imprecise. If the boundaries are precise, then they must either be knowable or unknowable. I argue that there is a sense of 'knowable' in which it is obvious that no standard object's precise boundaries are knowable. I then argue that, in that same sense of 'knowable', the boundaries cannot be unknowable, unless we are prepared to accept an extreme skepticism about diachronic identity.
  5. I conclude that the vagueness of our standard ontology is the result of the vagueness of our conventions governing our everyday use of language - the standard ontology is conventional.



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Footnote 2:

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  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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