Feasibility, sorites and vagueness

Rohit Parikh, The Logic in Computer Science Column by Yuri Gurevich


We look at the history of research on vagueness and the Sorites paradox. That search has been largely unsuccessful and the existing solutions are not quite adequate. But following Wittgenstein we show that the notion of a successful language game works. Language games involving words like “small" or “red" can be successful and people can use these words to cooperate with others. And yet, ultimately these words do not have a meaning in the sense of a tight semantics. It is just that most of the time these games work. It is fine to say, “the light is green and we can go," even though the color word “green" does not actually have a semantics.

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