more from Sydney Shoemaker

Single Idea 8596

[catalogued under 7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 3. Anti-realism]

Full Idea

It is not plausible to argue from the fact (if it is one) that it is impossible to verify that two things are exactly equal in length to the conclusion that any two things necessarily differ in length.

Gist of Idea

Inability to measure equality doesn't make all lengths unequal


Sydney Shoemaker (Time Without Change [1969], p.58)

Book Reference

Shoemaker,Sydney: 'Identity, Cause and Mind' [OUP 2003], p.58

A Reaction

A beautifully simple point against anti-realist or verificationist views of the measurement of length. In any case where we can approach perfect precision, but not quite get there, the anti-realist view looks wildly implausible.