Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Vague baldness with no hair

You might think that someone who has no hair is definitely bald. Not so. For only someone who has a normally hirsute head can be bald, and it can be vague whether a particular hairless person has a head. For instance, we can imagine aliens that have a part that resembles our heads to some degree--maybe they have eyes on it but all their other sensory organs and mouth are on their hand--and it will be vague whether they have heads. So, if Bob is such an alien and has no hair anywhere, then it is definitely true that either Bob is maximally bald (if he has a head) or Bob is not bald at all (if he has no head).

This is inspired by a remark by Kenny Pearce that, in the case he was writing about, something was a paradigm case of F without being at all an intense case of F. The lesson is that it can be important to keep degrees of being F apart from whether one is definitely F or not. This remark may damage this argument.

1 comment:

Amanda Mazzocchi said...

Whoa! That was deep. I do get your point though. Baldness is really more of a relative term, seeing as how a hairy person may be considered bald, but not necessarily for someone who doesn’t have that much hair to begin with. All in all though, I like how you pointed this out. Thanks.

Amanda Mazzocchi @ Good Look Ink