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Single Idea 21603

[catalogued under 7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. Vagueness / f. Supervaluation for vagueness]

Full Idea

If a vague language is made precise, its expressions change in meaning, so an accurate semantic description of the precise language is inaccurate as a description of the vague one.

Gist of Idea

You can't give a precise description of a language which is intrinsically vague

Source

Timothy Williamson (Vagueness [1994], 5.1)

A Reaction

Kind of obvious, really, but it clarifies the nature of any project (starting with Leibniz) to produce a wholly precise language. That is usually seen as a specialist language for science.

Book Reference

Williamson,Timothy: 'Vagueness' [Routledge 1996], p.142