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International Journal for Ontology and Metaphysics

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Referential Indeterminacy with an Ontic Source? – A Criticism of Williams’s Defense of Vague Objects

Ken Akiba
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  • Department of Philosophy, Virginia Commonwealth University, 915 W. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23284-2025, USA
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Published Online: 2015-05-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mp-2015-0011


J. Robert G. Williams argues that referential indeterminacy may arise as a result of ontic indeterminacy, and that lambda-abstraction is not applicable to indeterminate identity statements, i.e., statements of the form, ‘it is indeterminate whether a is identical with b,’ if they involve such ontically induced referential indeterminacy; so Evans’s reductio argument against vague objects does not work. This paper finds fault with Williams’s defense of vague objects and shows that there is much reason to doubt that the idea of ontically induced referential indeterminacy plays any significant role in a proper defense of vague objects against Evans’s argument.

Keywords: onticism; semanticism; ontic indeterminacy; semantic indeterminacy; vague objects; Evans’s argument; lambda-abstraction.


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About the article

Published Online: 2015-05-14

Published in Print: 2015-09-18

Citation Information: Metaphysica, Volume 16, Issue 2, Pages 167–178, ISSN (Online) 1874-6373, ISSN (Print) 1437-2053, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mp-2015-0011.

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