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Vagueness and Similarity

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Vagueness and Similarity Workshop

Ecole normale supérieure, Paris 
May 7- 8, 2010

Location : May 7, 2010: ENS - Salle Jules Ferry, 29 rue d'Ulm - Paris.
May 8, 2010: ENS - Salle des Actes, 45 rue d'Ulm - Paris.

Organization : Richard Dietz, Igor Douven, Paul Egré, David Ripley.

/Local Committee : paulegre AT gmail DOT com or
davewripley AT gmail DOT com

The difficulty of drawing sharp boundaries for vague concepts is often referred to the following principle of similarity, according to which if a concept P can be applied to an object x, then it is also applicable to any object y that is only slightly different from x in the relevant respects. While this principle accounts for the plasticity of most of our concepts, it also leads to paradox, thereby suggesting that the notion of similarity actually obeys further or alternative constraints in relation to categorization. The aim of this workshop will be to discuss aspects of the psychology and semantics of similarity and comparison in relation to vagueness. The following issues will be addressed and of special interest during the workshop: relation between vagueness and categorical perception; referential consensus in color categories; clarity, borderliness and distance to prototypes in conceptual space; static and dynamic constraints on comparison in classification tasks; logic of vagueness in relation to similarity. The present workshop is coorganized by the Institut Jean-Nicod and the Center for Logic and Analytic Philosophy in Leuven, as part of an ongoing collaboration.


Sam Alxatib (MIT)
Pablo Cobreros (University of Navarra)
Lieven Decock (University of Amsterdam)
Richard Dietz (Leuven)
Igor Douven (Leuven)
Paul Egré (IJN)
Peter Gärdenfors (Lund)
James Hampton (London)
Yasmina Jraissati (IJN)
David Ripley (IJN)
Robert van Rooij (ILLC, Amsterdam) 

 Program : website