Vagueness manifests itself (among other things) in our inability to find boundaries to the extension of vague predicates. A semantic theory of vagueness plans to justify this inability in terms of the vague semantic rules governing language and thought. According to a supporter of semantic theory, the inability to find such a boundary is not dependent on epistemic limits and an omniscient being like God would be equally unable. Williamson (Vagueness, 1994) argued that cooperative omniscient beings adequately instructed would find a precise boundary in a sorites series and that, for this reason, the semantic theory misses its target, while Hawthorne (Philosophical Studies 122:1-25, 2005) stood with the semantic theorists and argued that the linguistic behaviour of a cooperative omniscient being like God would clearly demonstrate that he does not find a precise boundary in the sorites series. I argue that Hawthorne's definition of God's cooperative behaviour cannot be accepted and that, contrary to what has been assumed by both Williamson and Hawthorne, an omniscient being like God cannot be a cooperative evaluator of a semantic theory of vagueness.

God's Silence / E. Paganini. - In: PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES. - ISSN 0031-8116. - 157:2(2012 Jan), pp. 287-298.

God's Silence

E. Paganini
Primo
2012-01

Abstract

Vagueness manifests itself (among other things) in our inability to find boundaries to the extension of vague predicates. A semantic theory of vagueness plans to justify this inability in terms of the vague semantic rules governing language and thought. According to a supporter of semantic theory, the inability to find such a boundary is not dependent on epistemic limits and an omniscient being like God would be equally unable. Williamson (Vagueness, 1994) argued that cooperative omniscient beings adequately instructed would find a precise boundary in a sorites series and that, for this reason, the semantic theory misses its target, while Hawthorne (Philosophical Studies 122:1-25, 2005) stood with the semantic theorists and argued that the linguistic behaviour of a cooperative omniscient being like God would clearly demonstrate that he does not find a precise boundary in the sorites series. I argue that Hawthorne's definition of God's cooperative behaviour cannot be accepted and that, contrary to what has been assumed by both Williamson and Hawthorne, an omniscient being like God cannot be a cooperative evaluator of a semantic theory of vagueness.
vagueness; omniscience
Settore M-FIL/05 - Filosofia e Teoria dei Linguaggi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/169102
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