Graff Fara, Delia. Shifting Sands: An Interest-Relative Theory of Vagueness
2000, Philosophical Topics 28(1): 45-81.
Added by: Emily Paul
Summary: I propose that the meanings of vague expressions render the truth conditions of utterances of sentences containing them sensitive to our interests. For example, 'expensive' is analyzed as meaning 'costs a lot', which in turn is analyzed as meaning 'costs significantly greater than the norm'. Whether a difference is a significant difference depends on what our interests are. Appeal to the proposal is shown to provide an attractive resolution of the sorites paradox that is compatible with classical logic and semantics.
Comment: An important paper to use for an advanced UG Philosophy of Language/Metaphysics course. Would definitely need to be a core reading and be taught in a lecture first, as there are many important things going on here.
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