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A Simple Logic for Comparisons and Vagueness

Theodore J. Everett
Synthese
Vol. 123, No. 2 (May, 2000), pp. 263-278
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20118280
Page Count: 16
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A Simple Logic for Comparisons and Vagueness
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Abstract

I provide an intuitive, semantic account of a new logic for comparisons (CL), in which atomic statements are assigned both a classical truth-value and a "how much" value or extension in the range [0, 1]. The truth-value of each comparison is determined by the extensions of its component sentences; the truth-value of each atomic depends on whether its extension matches a separate standard for its predicate; everything else is computed classically. CL is less radical than Casari's comparative logics, in that it does not allow for the formation of comparative statements out of truth-functional molecules. I argue that CL provides a better analysis of comparisons and predicate vagueness than classical logic, fuzzy logic or supervaluation theory. CL provides a model for descriptions of the world in terms of comparisons only. The sorites paradox can be solved by the elimination of atomic sentences.

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