Vagueness Test Again

It is no longer true that everyone who has
taken the vagueness test has got
the results Kamp and Raffman predict! Does one counterexample refute the
theory, even if itís in an uncontrolled experiment? I doubt it, but itís not
great news for the theory.

There
hasnít been much updating recently because of either extreme business in my
life or extreme laziness in my work habits. Iíll leave it to you to decide
which.

Iím
currently rewriting the pragmatics of vagueness paper to make it be about the
Sorites. This doesnít change the underlying thesis that much, but hopefully it
will be a good marketing angle. If anyone reads this, Iíd be interested in
hearing if youíve ever seen a Sorites argument of the following form:

 

A person with a billion dollars is rich.

For all n, either person with n
dollars is not rich or a person with n-1 dollars is rich.

Therefore, a person with 2 dollars is rich.

 

This is clearly valid (at least outside
Australia), and in theory its premises seem at least as plausible as the
premises in a normal Sorites argument. By that I mean that in theory it seems
that if If A then B is true then Not A or B should be true, so
the second premise here should, in theory, be entailed by the premise in a
normal Sorites. But (a) Iíve never seen an argument of this form in the
literature and (b) it seems rather painless in this case to simply deny the
second premise. One of the aims of the paper, as currently constituted, is to
explain why this argument does not seem sound, and hence cannot be the
basis of any paradox, so I do hope it doesnít seem sound.