Cut-offs and their Neighbors
Varzi (Achille)
Source: J. C. Beall (ed.) Liars and Heaps: New Essays on Paradox, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003, pp. 24-38
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Philosophers Index Abstract

  1. In ‘Towards a Solution to the Sorites Paradox’, Graham Priest gives us a new account of the sorites1 based on fuzzy logic.
  2. The novelty lies in the suggestion that truth-value assignments should themselves be treated as fuzzy objects, i.e., objects about which we can make fuzzy identity statements.
  3. I argue that Priest’s solution does not have the explanatory force that Priest advocates. That is, it does not explain why we find the existence of a cut-off point counter-intuitive.
  4. I also argue that this sort of explanation calls for a general theory that goes beyond the special case of linguistic vagueness, for the phenomenon is at bottom not linguistic.

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