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Truth is flat and bumpy

Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 3:30 pm – 5:10 pm

Is truth a gradable property? The view was famously defended by fuzzy logicians (Zadeh 1975) but was met with scepticism, in particular by Haack (1980). In her paper "Is truth flat or bumpy?", Haack denies that "true" should be seen either as an absolute or as a relative gradable adjective (in the sense of Unger 1975). Recently, Jared Henderson and I proposed various converging arguments in support of the view that "true" is indeed an absolute gradable adjective (Henderson, in press; Egré, in press). While Henderson and I share a number of arguments, the view I defend is that "true" is furthermore special among absolute gradable adjectives, in that it shows a pattern of systematic ambiguity between a total and partial interpretation (in the sense of Yoon 1996). In this paper I will review evidence in favor of that claim as well as some objections. I will then discuss the way in which this evidence may be taken to support the so-called strict-tolerant view of "true" as being a vague predicate (in the sense of Cobreros et al. 2012).