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Bipolar Disorder: Horgan on Vagueness and Incoherence

Gerald Hull
Synthese
Vol. 143, No. 3 (Feb., 2005), pp. 351-369
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20118542
Page Count: 19
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Bipolar Disorder: Horgan on Vagueness and Incoherence
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Abstract

According to Horgan's transvaluationist approach, the robustness that characterizes vague terms is inherently incoherent. He analyzes that robustness into two conceptual poles, individualistic and collectivistic, and ascribes the incoherence to the former. However, he claims vague terms remain useful nonetheless, because the collectivistic pole can be realized with a suitable non-classical logic and can quarantine the incoherence arising out of the individualistic pole. I argue, on the contrary, that the non-classical logic fails to resolve the difficulty and that the incoherence afflicts Horgan's collectivistic pole as well, consequently invalidating the entire transvaluationist approach. An alternative, coherent conception of robustness is suggested.

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