Against the status response to the argument from Vagueness

David Mark Kovacs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Argument from Vagueness for Universalism contends that any non-arbitrary restriction on composition must be vague, but that vague composition leads to unacceptable count indeterminacy. One common response to the argument is that borderline cases of composition don’t necessarily lead to count indeterminacy because a determinately existing thing may be a borderline case of a presently existing concrete composite object. We can collectively refer to such views as versions of the Status Response. This paper argues that the Status Response cannot handle count indeterminacy about various categories of things, such as events, states of affairs, tropes, holes, shadows, and created abstracta, when these are understood in the right way. This makes the Status Response objectionablfy ad hoc, which should lead us to look for alternative ways of resisting the Argument from Vagueness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number468
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2022


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation2035/19
Université de Genève
Universitatea din București


    • Abstract artifacts
    • Composition
    • Events
    • Holes
    • States of affairs
    • Tropes
    • Universalism
    • Vagueness


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