Single Idea 9057

[catalogued under 7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Vagueness / d. Vagueness as linguistic]

Full Idea

I regard vagueness as semantic indecision: where we speak vaguely, we have not troubled to settle which of some range of precise meanings our words are meant to express.

Gist of Idea

Vagueness is semantic indecision: we haven't settled quite what our words are meant to express


David Lewis (On the Plurality of Worlds [1986], 4.4 n32)

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'On the Plurality of Worlds' [Blackwell 2001], p.244

A Reaction

But that seems to leave the problem of how you are going to decide the boundaries of 'heap' or 'bald', if we all agree to become more precise. In law precise boundaries are often drawn a bit arbitrarily, simply because a boundary is needed.

Related Idea

Idea 21625 The vagueness of 'heap' can remain even when the context is fixed [Williamson]