I recently asked a question about the sorites paradox, and I received the following response, which seems to me to have a logical fallacy in it. In other words, the answer below does not seem to "explain" the paradox as much as it "contains" the paradox....
Here is the reply:
"Because the paradox itself results from commitments of common sense: (a) some number of grains is clearly too few to make a heap (maybe 15, as you say); (b) some number of grains is clearly enough to make a heap (maybe 15,000); and yet (c) one grain never makes the difference between any two different statuses (heap vs. non-heap, definitely a heap vs. not definitely a heap, etc.). Given commonsense logic, (a)-(c) can't all be true, but which one should we reject? Most philosophers who try to solve the paradox attack (c), but I certainly haven't seen a refutation of (c) that I'd call 'commonsense.'"
It seems that point (c) above presupposes that either we have 100% heap or 0% heap; however if we can have a number of grains such that we have 85% heap / 15% not heap at the same time, or 50% heap / 50% not heap at the same time, then there is no paradox.
Maybe it is "merely" a question of semantics? We know that "100% either / 100% or" is a convention that does not necessarily fit the "commonsense" world; often times we "know" from "common sense" that something can be part either / part or at the same time. Yet the "logic" that causes the sorites problem to be a paradox is "logic" that insists that only 100% either or 100% or can exist, which seems to violate the "common sense" test.
In other words, I do not see a paradox, I see a problem with underlying assumptions and definitions, the lack of clarity in which produces an apparent paradox which is resolved when we examine those underlying assumptions and definitions.
Am I missing something? or am I being "too" concrete in a world in which everyone else insists on abstraction?