Many investigations of vagueness treat it as primarily a linguistic phenomenon. Their objective is to give a model of the meanings of vague words and use it to analyze the sorites paradox, borderline cases, and other phenomena distinctive of vagueness. Nobody would deny that, in addition to saying vague things, we think vague thoughts. But on the standard approach, the investigation of vague language is primary, and what we say about vague thought is derivative from this. Thought is an afterthought.

The main aim of Bacon's impressive book is to argue that this approach is backward. According to Bacon, we should start by investigating vagueness in thought and explain linguistic vagueness in terms of it. In embracing this order of explanation, he sets himself apart not just from supervaluationists, who typically think of vagueness as a matter of “semantic indecision,” but also from epistemicists...

You do not currently have access to this content.