How (Not) To Argue Against Vague Object

  • 1 Department of Philosophy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Campus, E370–1866 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 Canada
Ali Abasnezhad


In a series of papers, Elizabeth Barnes and Robert Williams have developed a theory of metaphysical vagueness in which they argue for legitimacy of vague object and indeterminate identity. In his recent paper, Ken Akiba raises two objections against Barnes-Williams theory, concluding that it is ill-conceived and wrong-headed. In one objection, he argues that the theory implies indeterminate identity between referentially determinate objects to which λ-abstraction is applicable, and hence Evans’ argument ultimately goes through. In the other, he objects that Barnes-Williams theory also fails to block Salmon’s argument. This paper discusses the two objections. It argues that there are legitimate reasons for rejecting both, and hence to revive Barnes-Williams theory. Furthermore, it is shown that the objections, while unsuccessful, are helpful in revealing the limitations of Barnes-Williams theory.

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Metaphysica provides an international forum of ontology and metaphysics for readers all over the world. The journal is published biannually.