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The Paradox of the Heap

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Chapter Summary

This argument is paradoxical. For from what appear to be true premises we derive an evidently false conclusion by means of what would seem to be a valid form of inference. The principle of inference employed, the so-called principle of mathematical induction, is an essential tool in mathematics. The second point want to raise in this Postscript about the technical part of the paper concerns the truth conditions of universal quantifications and conditionals. The paper is rather apologetic about the dubiousness of this motivation and for its inability to offer more persuasive arguments for truth and falsity conditions for the universal quantifier it proposes. In spite of the many striking advances that the study of vagueness has made over the more than three decades that have passed since The Paradox of the Heap was published.

Keywords:heap; paradox; postscript; vagueness



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