2017 | 26 | 1 | 115–135
Article title

Vagueness is a Kind of Conflation

Title variants
Languages of publication
This paper sketches an understanding of conflation and vagueness according to which the latter is a special kind of the former. First, I sketch a particular understanding of conflation. Then, I go on to argue that vague concepts fit directly into this understanding. This picture of vagueness is related, but not identical, to a number of existing accounts.
Physical description
  • Department of Philosophy University of Connecticut 101 Manchester Hall, Unit 1054 344 Mansfield Rd. Storrs, CT 06269 USA,
  • Alxatib, S., and J. Pelletier, “The psychology of vagueness: Borderline cases and contradictions” Mind and Language, 26, 3 (2011): 287–326. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2011.01419.x
  • Brandom, R., “The significance of complex numbers for Frege’s philosophy of mathematics”, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 96 (1996): 293–315.
  • Brandom, R., Articulating Reasons, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2000.
  • Burgess, J.A., “Error theories and values”, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 76, 4 (1998): 534–552. DOI: 10.1080/00048409812348661
  • Camp, J.L., Jr., Confusion: A Study in the Theory of Knowledge, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2002.
  • Cobreros, P., P. Égré, D. Ripley, and R. van Rooij, “Tolerant, classical, strict”, Journal of Philosophical Logic, 41, 2 (2012): 347–385. DOI: 10.1007/s10992-010-9165-z
  • Cobreros, P., P. Égré, D. Ripley, and R. van Rooij, “Pragmatic interpretations of vague expressions: Strongest meaning and nonmonotonic consequence”, Journal of Philosophical Logic, 44, 4 (2015): 375–393. DOI: 10.1007/s10992-014-9325-7
  • Cobreros, P., P. Égré, D. Ripley, and R. van Rooij, “Vagueness, truth, and permissive consequence”, Chapter 21, pages 409–430, in T. Achourioti, H. Galinon, K. Fujimoto, and J.M. Fernández (eds.), Unifying the Philosophy of Truth, volume 36 of the series Logic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science, Springer, 2015. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-9673-6_21
  • Égré, P., V. de Gardelle, and D. Ripley, “Vagueness and order effects: Evidence for enhanced contrast in a task of color categorization”, Journal of Logic, Language, and Information, 22, 4 (2013): 391–420.
  • Fara, D., “Shifting sands: An interest-relative theory of vagueness” Philosophical Topics, 28, 1 (2000): 45–81.
  • Field, H., “Theory change and the indeterminacy of reference”, Journal of Philosophy, 70, 14 (1973): 462–481. (See also DOI: 10.1093/0199242895.003.0006)
  • Field, H., “Indeterminacy, degree of belief, and excluded middle”, Noûs, 34, 1 (2000): 1–30. DOI: 10.1111/0029-4624.00200
  • Frost-Arnold, G., “Too much reference: Semantics for multiply signifying terms”, Journal of Philosophical Logic, 37, 3 (2008): 239–257. DOI: 10.1007/s10992-007-9067-x
  • Kamp, H., “The paradox of the heap”, Chapter 8, pages 225–277, in U. Mönnich (ed.), Aspects of Philosophical Logic, D. Reidel, 1981. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-009-8384-7_8
  • Keefe, R., Theories of Vagueness, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000.
  • Lawlor, K., “A notional worlds approach to confusion”, Mind & Language, 22, 2 (2007): 150–172. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2007.00304.x
  • Millikan, R.G., On Clear and Confused Ideas, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511613296
  • Raffman, D., “Vagueness without paradox”, The Philosophical Review, 103, 1 (1994): 41–74. DOI: 10.2307/2185872
  • Raffman, D., “Vagueness and context-relativity”, Philosophical Studies, 81, 2–3 (1996): 175–192. DOI: 10.1007/BF00372781
  • Ripley, D., “Contradictions at the borders”, Chapter 10, pages 169–188, in R. Nouwen, R. van Rooij, H.-Ch. Schmitz, and U. Sauerland (eds.), Vagueness and Communication, Volume 6517 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, 2011. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-18446-8_10
  • Ripley, D., “Paradoxes and failures of cut”, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 91, 1 (2013): 139–164. DOI: 10.1080/00048402.2011.630010
  • Ripley, D., “Revising up: Strengthening classical logic in the face of paradox”, Philosophers’ Imprint, 13, 5 (2013): 1–13.
  • Ripley, D., “Sorting out the sorites”, Chapter 18, pages 329–348, in K. Tanaka, F. Berto, E. Mares, and F. Paoli (eds.), Paraconsistency: Logic and Applications, Volume 26 of the series Logic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science, Springer, 2013. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-4438-7_18
  • Ripley, D., “Blurring: An approach to conflation”, Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 2016. Forthcoming.
  • Sellars, W., “Inference and meaning”, Mind, 62, 247 (1953): 313–338.
  • Serchuk, P., I. Hargreaves, and R. Zach, “Vagueness, logic, and use: Four experimental studies on vagueness”, Mind & Language, 26, 5 (2011): 540–573. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2011.01430.x
  • Shapiro, S., Vagueness in Context, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006. DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280391.001.0001
  • Sorensen, R., Vagueness and Contradiction, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2001.
  • Williamson, T., Vagueness, Routledge, London, 1994.
  • Wright, C., “On the coherence of vague predicates”, Synthese, 30, 3–4 (1975): 325–365. DOI: 10.1007/BF00485049
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.