Vagueness and Comparison

Vagueness and comparison are linked in different ways. Vague predicates typically support comparison; several influential semantic analyses of comparative constructions are based on prior accounts of vagueness; and a notion of comparison or similarity plays an important role in many accounts of vagueness. However, the subtlety and significance of the places where vagueness and comparison do not line up have not been explored in great detail, either by philosophers or linguists. This paper examines one such case, involving distinctions between objects that differ along a particular dimension by a very small amount, and discusses its significance for theories of vagueness and for the semantics of comparison.