Course Introduction by Prof. Agustín Rayo

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Course Meeting Times

Discussions: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session

Course Description

The objective of the course is to give people a sense of what "accounting for vagueness" is all about, why it's hard, and why it's important. This will involve surveying some prominent accounts of vagueness.


Much of our focus will be on the following two texts:

Buy at MIT Press Keefe, Rosanna, and Peter Smith, eds. Vagueness: A Reader. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996. ISBN: 0262112256.

Williamson, Timothy. Vagueness. New York, NY: Routledge, 1994. ISBN: 0415033314.

Both of them are superb - if you buy them you won't regret it.

Grading and Assignments

If you're taking the course for credit, I'll ask you to turn in a paper by the fourth day after Ses #12. Please don't hesitate to come see me if you'd like to think about your paper out loud, or if you'd like to run an argument by me. I'd also be happy to look at early drafts.

Because the course is conducted in seminar fashion, the main activity is class discussion. Your final grade will be based on your paper and class participation.

Additional Reading

There is an enormous literature on vagueness. Come see me if you'd like to talk about further readings - or check out the following Web site:



1 Why Bother?
2 Degrees of Truth
3-4 Supervaluationism
5 Vagueness in the World
6-7 Epistemicism
8 Contextualism
9 Nihilism
10 Eklund Extravaganza
11 My Own Views
12 Latter-Day Crispinology