CUNY Psycholinguistics Supper: Sam Alxatib (Graduate Center, CUNY; MIT)
NOV 12, 2013 | 6:30 PM TO 8:00 PM
The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
November 12, 2013: 6:30 PM-8:00 PM
Vague predicates, logic, and 'contradictory' judgments
This talk concerns some recent findings, derived originally from Pelletier & Schubert (1986), that highlight a seemingly inconsistent pattern of truth-value judgments (Ripley 2011, Sauerland 2012, Alxatib & Pelletier 2011, Serchuk et al. 2011). The signature of the judgment is as follows: given a gradable predicate like 'tall', and given a borderline case x of that predicate, speakers are inclined to reject the claims that x is tall, and that x is not tall, while simultaneously assenting to the claim that x is tall AND not tall. This finding challenges many of the logical programs undertaken in response to the problem of vagueness, most prominently supervaluation (Fine 1975, Kamp 1975), subvaluation (Hyde 1997), degrees of truth (Machina 1976), and vagueness-as-ignorance (Williamson 1994). The approaches are discussed and evaluated with respect to the empirical findings.