Event Detail

Fri Jan 29, 2010
60 Evans Hall, 4:10–6 PM
Logic Colloquium
John MacFarlane (UC Berkeley)
Fuzzy Epistemicism

It is taken for granted in much of the literature on vagueness that semantic and epistemic approaches to vagueness are fundamentally at odds. If we can analyze borderline cases and the sorites paradox in terms of degrees of truth, then we don’t need an epistemic explanation. Conversely, if an epistemic explanation suffices, then there is no reason to depart from the familiar simplicity of classical bivalent semantics. I question this assumption, showing that there is an intelligible motivation for adopting a many-valued semantics even if one accepts a form of epistemicism. The resulting hybrid view has advantages over both classical epistemicism and traditional many-valued approaches.