Vagueness and the Mind of God
Hawthorne (John)
Source: Philosophical Studies; Jan2005, Vol. 122 Issue 1, p1-25, 25p
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. This paper examines the mind and language of an omniscient being from a supervaluationist perspective.
  2. Two questions shall receive special attention.
    1. How ought the supervaluationist explicate the concept of omniscience? And
    2. What ought the supervaluationist expect an omniscient speaker to say about a Sorites1 series?

Author’s Introduction
  1. How ought we to conceive of an omniscient mind in light of the phenomenon of vagueness?
  2. Working within the framework of one of the more promising approaches to vagueness – supervaluationism – this paper explores the mind (and language) of God.
    1. In section 1 I sketch the barebones of supervaluationism, familiar to most readers.
    2. Section 2 is concerned with how the supervaluationist ought to define omniscience.
    3. Section 3 describes, from a supervaluationist perspective, how the divine mind would engage with a Sorites2 series.
    4. Finally, in section 4, I address a thought experiment3 concerning omniscient speakers offered by Timothy Williamson, designed to support the view that there are epistemically inaccessible hidden boundaries associated with ordinary vague predicates.
  3. I conclude by noting the broader philosophical significance of the themes explored here.

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  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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