a site for sorites

From: Damien Broderick (d.broderick@english.unimelb.edu.au)
Date: Mon Jan 08 2001 - 20:28:22 MST

And speaking of language games,


< we might return to the conclusion that the sorites paradox is just
another ‘word game’ or ‘puzzle’ meant to perplex us, but with little or no
serious implications for our ways of life. In mathematics and science, for
example, sorites issues do not affect measurements of real objects, such as
determining that there are two molecules of oxygen and one of carbon in
carbon dioxide. Yet, in areas such as applied ethics, law, and politics,
intersubjective agreement depends on the clear categorisation of things
vis-à-vis organising terms and concepts. This fact invites us to further
investigate just how the sorites underlies problems in these and other
practical areas. All in all, the sorites paradox could therefore have a
more profound influence than we think, more than just another ‘word game’
or ‘puzzle’, on our individual and collective lives. >

Damien Broderick

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