Logic & Philosophy of Science Colloquium


Richard Zach

University of Calgary; UCI  Visiting Fellow 

"How to Argue For and Against a Logic of Vagueness"


The literature on vagueness is awash with numerous proposals for solutions to the sorites paradox. The proposals differ in a number of respects: some propose alternative logics, some propose alternative semantics while retaining classical logic, some propose extra-logical solutions. Criticisms of these proposals likewise focus on a variety of factors, such as how they characterize logical truths, how they characterize consequence, how they structure the suggested semantics for vague languages, and in the systematic, metatheoretic properties of the proposed logics. These factors are related in interesting ways to each other, yet they play different roles in the arguments for or against the various proposals. A discussion of these factors raises important questions for the philosophy of logic, in particular, for the evaluation of proposals that revise classical logic.
The proposals to account for vagueness in terms of many-valued logics will serve as a case study.

Friday, December 10, 2004
SST 777
3 pm

Refreshments will be served