Web site accompanying Not Exactly: in Praise of Vagueness
by Kees van Deemter, Oxford University Press (xvi + 341 pages)

How warm is a ‘warm day’? Where should we draw the ‘poverty line’? Are you the same person as you were yesterday? None of these questions can be given a clear-cut answer. We operate in a world full of continuous variation, relying on concepts that are not precisely defined but vague around the edges. This book, which cuts across logic, linguistics, and artificial intelligence, considers the challenges posed by vagueness, showing how vagueness is often difficult to avoid, and frequently (though not always!) useful too. It defends a perspective on vagueness that hinges on probabilities instead of crisp dichotomies or degrees of truth. Last but not least, the book shows how Natural Language Generation programs are becoming more sophisticated in their treatment of numerical information, allowing computers to use vague language judicially in their interaction with human users.

About the book: buying the book as hardcover, paperback or ebook; teaching resources

Reviews and news reports about the book. (Updated)

Translations. This includes a summarised translation into complex Chinese (March 2012) and a translation of the whole book into simplified Chinese (March 2016).

Errata, corrected in the paperback edition (Spring-Summer 2012).

Talks related to the book (academic and popular)

A pictorial introduction to vagueness

A lighthearted episode featuring the science writer Simon Singh and the singer Katie Melua (video fragment). See also this written contribution by Singh

Vagueness illustrated by news items

Research web sites : projects, research papers, bibliographies

A brief academic postscript to the book, with pointers to the recent literature

The author and his colleagues at Aberdeen


Send email to k.vdeemter atnospam abdn dot ac dot uk

Page last updated 3 May 2012.

The University of Aberdeen