Re: the beginning

Ashley Piggins (ecpg487@ssa.bris.ac.uk)
Sat, 28 Mar 1998 23:38:57 +0100 (MET)

Dr. Vesa A. Niskanen wrote:
>
For my money, the best account and most stimulating recent contribution
to Vagueness is Timothy Williamson's book Vagueness (Routledge, 1994).

It has an excellent chapter on fuzz, but puts the whole topic in a
historical perspective. Williamson defends an epistemic theory of
vagueness - there is a sharp borderline between tall/non-tall people but
we cannot know where it is. Vagueness is ignorance according to this
theory. Brilliantly argued despite sounding implausible.

> Brief history of fuzziness:
> 1.The problem of vagueness/impreciseness is very old. A common problem
> during the last 2500 years has been that the Greek and Latin terms pistin,
> pithanos, probabilis, verisimilis etc. have been ambiguous. Hence,
> uncertainty and vagueness have been confused.
> 2. Black has considered vagueness (not fuzziness) in which context he
> applied a function called the consistency profile. If this function had a
> fringe, the respective term was vague. Hempel suggested modifications to
> this profile. Black was considering linguistic pragmatic vagueness, whereas
> fuzzy systems usually deal with linguistic semantic vagueness. According to
> Black, Russell confused vagueness and generality.
> 3. Other well-known modern considerations are Wittgenstein's principle of
> family resemblance and Putnam's cluster concepts.
> 4. Fuzziness, as it is used within the fuzzy systems, is based on the
> stipulative definition suggested by Lotfi Zadeh. Hence, it is a technical
> term based on explication. Fuzzy systems, which Zadeh invented, mainly deal
> with linguistic entities which are vague from the linguistic semantical
> standpoint. In practice, terms the extensions of which have borderline
> cases. To my knowledge, Zadeh draws a distinction between vagueness and
> impreciseness, but that's another story.
> Fuzzy feelings,
> ************************************************************
> Mr. Vesa A. Niskanen, Docent, Ph. D.
> University of Helsinki
> Dept. of Economics & Management
> PO Box 27, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
> Tel: +358 9 708 5052, +358 9 753 3609
> Mobile (GSM): +358 40 503 2031
> Fax: +358 9 708 5096
> E-mail: vesa.a.niskanen@helsinki.fi
> www.helsinki.fi/~niskanen/
> "OMNIA MEA MECUM PORTO"
> ************************************************************
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kyle LaMalfa <lamalfa@burgoyne.com>
> To: Multiple recipients of list <fuzzy-mail@dbai.tuwien.ac.at>
> Date: 15. maaliskuuta 1998 23:46
> Subject: Re: the beginning
>
> >
> >Fuzzy Logic was created by Max Black in the 1930's. In his paper
> >"Vagueness, an exercise in logical analysis" he cites Bertrand Russel,
> >Albert Einstein and even Plato a basis for his ideas. See "Philosophy of
> >Science" (1937) Vol. 4 pp. 427-455.
> >
> >-Kyle
> >
> >> > I simply need some basic information about how fuzzy logic was invented
> >> > for a paper. Anyone know where I can get that info, or can supply it?
> >> >
> >> > Michelle.
> >> >
> >>
> >>
> >