The Dennes Room

Event Detail

Fri Oct 8, 2021
Zoom, 4–6 PM
Townsend Visitor
Susanne Bobzien (All Souls, Oxford)
Vagueness: grey areas, context, and viewpoint sensitivity, Lect. 3

Vagueness: grey areas, context, and viewpoint sensitivity

Lecture 3: The interaction between contextual factors and viewpoint sensitivity in the grey areas

I introduce a distinction between contextual factors that co-determine what we (intend to) say and situational factors (‘viewpoints’) that affect our assessment of what is said. Viewpoints may include where we are situated in relation to an object a or what we are thinking while assessing whether a is F. Where different viewpoints appear to provide different truth values, we have borderline cases. These would reside in the empirically established grey areas. I then bring together the contextual factors in the grey area (Lectures 1 & 2) with viewpoints regarding that area. The result is this: since contextual factors and viewpoints are equally fine-grained but affect the semantics of vague utterances differently, it always remains elusive whether something is a borderline case.