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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton February 22, 2013

Peirce and the specification of borderline vagueness

David W. Agler
From the journal Semiotica


Scholarship on borderline vagueness pinpoints Russell's 1923 essay titled “Vagueness” as the starting point for rigorous analysis. The importance of Russell's work over and above discussions of indeterminacy in antiquity and in the modern period is that Russell isolated borderline vagueness from indeterminacies that do not threaten classical logic. This paper argues that historical propriety concerning the analysis of borderline vagueness belongs to Peirce since he was the first to show that borderline vagueness is distinct from other forms of indeterminacy (e.g., generality, unspecificity, and uninformativeness) and that the application of vague predicates to borderline cases involves an intrinsic uncertainty.

Pennsylvania State University

Published Online: 2013-02-22
Published in Print: 2013-02-22

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