Who Is Afraid of Truth Gaps? Wittgenstein and Kripke on the Standard Meter



Year of publication 2024
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description I argue that Kripke’s apparent disagreement with Wittgenstein’s claims about the Standard Meter is based on two different ways of fixing reference. Kripke proposes that “meter” rigidly refers to the length that the Standard Meter has at time t0. This length is an abstract object postulated by the theory of absolute space. Wittgenstein, in contrast, seems to presuppose that “meter” rigidly refers to the Standard Meter. Both ways of fixing reference have their advantages and disadvantages. Yet Wittgenstein’s way of fixing reference entails that a statement attributing to the Standard Meter a definite length in meters is without truth-value, while for Kripke, such attributions are accidentally true or accidentally false. This truth-value gap reappears in Kripke’s modal theoretical framework. Existential and modal claims about basic particulars are without truth-value. Both Wittgenstein and Kripke cannot but allow for certain truth-value gaps, which are instances of paracomplete reasoning.
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