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Title: On the Characterization of Borderline Cases
Author(s): Wright, Crispin
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Editor(s): Ostertag, G
Citation: Wright C (2016) On the Characterization of Borderline Cases. In: Ostertag G (ed.) Meanings and Other Things: Themes from the Work of Stephen Schiffer. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 190-210.〈=en&cc=gb#
Keywords: Vagueness-related partial belief
verdict exclusion
borderline case
Issue Date: Dec-2016
Date Deposited: 8-Jul-2016
Abstract: The chapter takes Schiffer’s central contribution to the study of vagueness to be his treatment of the characterization problem: saying what being a borderline case of a concept expressed by a vague expression consists in. While broadly sympathetic to Schiffer’s approach, the paper takes issue with two aspects of his theory. Schiffer endorses verdict exclusion: the doctrine that a “polar verdict” about a borderline case cannot be an expression of knowledge. This comes at too high a cost: among other things, it conflicts with the entitlement intuition – the intuition that it there will be no point in a sorites sequence at which it is mandatory to return neither of the polar verdicts. The author argues for agnosticism about verdict exclusion (“liberalism”). He also rejects Schiffer’s idea that a special form of belief – vagueness-related partial belief – plays an essential role in characterizing the possession conditions for vague concepts.
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Published in Meanings and Other Things Edited by Gary Ostertag, 2016, reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press

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