return to list of latest ideas

Single Idea 21607

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

Full Idea

The supervaluationist denies bivalence but accepts excluded middle. The statement 'A or not-A' is true on each admissible interpretation, and therefore true, even if 'A' (and hence 'not-A') are true and some and false on others, so neither T nor F.

Gist of Idea

Supervaluation has excluded middle but not bivalence; 'A or not-A' is true, even when A is undecided


Timothy Williamson (Vagueness [1994], 5.2)

A Reaction

See Ideas 21605 and 21606 for the distinction being used here. Denying bivalence allows 'A' to be neither true nor false. It seems common sense that 'he is either bald or not-bald' is true, without being sure about the disjuncts.

Book Reference

Williamson,Timothy: 'Vagueness' [Routledge 1996], p.145

Related Ideas

Idea 21605 Excluded Middle is 'A or not A' in the object language [Williamson]

Idea 21606 'Bivalence' is the meta-linguistic principle that 'A' in the object language is true or false [Williamson]

Idea 21604 Supervaluation assigns truth when all the facts are respected [Williamson]