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Content, Cognition, and CommunicationPhilosophical Papers II$
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Nathan Salmon

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199284726

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199284726.001.0001

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How to Measure the Standard Meter (1987) *

How to Measure the Standard Meter (1987) *

(p.141) 7 How to Measure the Standard Meter (1987)*
Content, Cognition, and Communication

Nathan Salmon (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Kripke's claim that the sentence ‘The Standard Meter (if it exists) is exactly one metre long’ is contingent a priori is criticized. It is argued that although the Meter sentence is indeed contingent, it is also a posteriori, because the information semantically contained is not the sort of thing that can be known without recourse to experience. An epistemic paradox is extracted from Wittgenstein's enigmatic observation that the Standard cannot be said to be one metre long, but also cannot be said not to be one meter long.

Keywords:   a priori, Donnellan, Kripke, meter, Wittgenstein

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