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PHI 1101.docx

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School
University of Ottawa
Department
Philosophy
Course
PHI1101
Professor
Mark Brown
Semester
Fall

Description
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. I. Vagueness:  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.  Example: 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  questions. Examples: 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 
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