PHI 1101: Chapter 10 Nov 16 2011
Vgueness and Ambiguity:
Vagueness and ambiguity are often confused with one anther, but they are distinct concepts. In general,
vagueness involves a term’s lack of precision whereas ambiguity involves different possible meanings ,
each of which may be quite possible.
Vagueness is a matter of degree.
Vagueness as fuzziness:
terms are vague to the extent that the y have blurry boundaries are fuzzy at the edgesso there are
borderline cases to which they may or may not apply.
A classic case of a quite vague term bald. Clearly a person with a full head of hair is not bald, and a
person with a head like an egg is bald. Bald is not precise enough to give any clear answers to such
Every player who comes to camp overweight will be fined $1000 a day until he makes hiproper weight.
– A 500 hundred pound human is surely overweight, but how heavy can one be without being overweight?
Anyone posting child pornography on the Internet is subject to arrest and a minimum of ten years in jail
upon conviction What age counts as a child? When is something pornography?
C. Deliberate Vagueness:
Yet in special circumstance we consider it desirable or expedient to