Worldly indeterminacy: A rough guide

Gideon Rosen, Nicholas J.J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


This paper defends the idea that there might be vagueness or indeterminacy in the world itself - as opposed to merely in our representations of the world - against the charges of incoherence and unintelligibility. First we consider the idea that the world might contain vague properties and relations ; we show that this idea is already implied by certain well-understood views concerning the semantics of vague predicates (most notably the fuzzy view). Next we consider the idea that the world might contain vague objects ; we argue that an object is indeterminate in a certain respect (colour, size, etc.) just in case it is a borderline case of a maximally specific colour (size, etc.) property. Finally we consider the idea that the world as a whole might be indeterminate; we argue that the world is indeterminate just in case it lacks a determinate division into determinate objects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-198
Number of pages14
JournalAustralasian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


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