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Indeterminacy and Vagueness Conference (Day 2) - 29 May 2022

Please note that this event has passed.

Vagueness is related to the existence of borderline cases, and its incidence permeates both science and metaphysics.

Theories and accounts of vagueness try to find a solution to the problem of how to treat predicates such as “is bald” or “moves in a straight line”, both in natural language and in scientific theories. Is vagueness an epistemological problem? Is all vagueness linguistic? Could there be intrinsically vague objects? What logical tools may help in formalizing and resolving the paradoxes of vagueness? Is vagueness equally unavoidable in the scientific language?

Discussion of vagueness may equally arise in the context of the philosophy of mathematics, where the term ‘indeterminacy’ is often preferred. Are our mathematical terms determinate? How can we guarantee that arithmetic is determinate? Could set theory be indeterminate, in light of independence results? Is the Continuum Hypothesis a case of indeterminacy in mathematics? Moreover, the problem of indeterminacy spans quantum mechanics as well, presented, for instance, in the form of the so-called measurement problem. How can we make sense of quantum indeterminacy? Does contemporary physics provide a complete, deterministic picture of physical reality?

The KCL graduate conference on Indeterminacy and Vagueness aims to bring together students and early-career researchers working on vagueness broadly construed, in the fields of Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology and Philosophy of Mathematics.

The conference will take place at KCL on 28th of May and Sunday 29th of May, 2022. The event should be in person, however this will be confirmed closer to the date depending on the situation with COVID-19.

The programme of the event will be confirmed closer to the conference date.

Keynote Speakers

Prof. Susanne Bobzien (Oxford), Dr Tim Button (UCL) and Prof. Tim Williamson (Oxford).

There will also be contributed talks by graduate students and early-career researchers (within one year from completion of their degree) about Indeterminacy and Vagueness in Logic, Metaphysics, Epistemology and Philosophy of Mathematics.

Call for Submissions

Postgraduate students and early-career researchers (within one year from completion of their degree) are invited to submit an abstract (up to 500 words) OR a paper (up to 4000 words + 500-word abstract) on the subject of the conference, prepared for blind review. Selected candidates will have around 20-25 minutes to present their work. We would like the event to happen in person, but a final decision will be made closer to the conference date, depending on the situation with COVID-19.

Abstracts and papers will need to pertain primarily to one of the following subject areas:

  • Philosophy of Mathematics.
  • Metaphysics, Logic and General Epistemology
  • Philosophy of Science and Physics

Since there will be a diachronically separate session for each subject area (although mild levels of contamination are welcome).

Submissions should be sent by filling in this Google Form.

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Event details

29 May 2022