Conventionalism about space and time

Abstract
MANY WRITERS HAVE WISHED TO DISTINGUISH, WITH RESPECT TO CLAIMS ABOUT SPACE AND TIME, BETWEEN MATTERS OF FACT AND MATTERS OF CONVENTION--TO SAY, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT IT IS A MATTER OF FACT WHETHER TWO RODS AT THE SAME PLACE ARE CONGRUENT, BUT A MATTER OF CONVENTION WHETHER TWO RODS AT DIFFERENT PLACES ARE CONGRUENT. ANY ATTEMPT TO DETERMINE WHICH STATEMENTS ARE MATTERS OF CONVENTION WILL RELY ON SOME VERIFICATIONIST DOCTRINE. YET DIFFERENT VERIFICATIONIST DOCTRINES DIFFER IN PLAUSIBILITY AND YIELD DIFFERENT RESULTS. THE ONLY SATISFACTORY WAY TO DETERMINE WHETHER A STATEMENT CONCERNS MATTER OF FACT, IS BY SPELLING OUT ITS CONSEQUENCES, NOT BY INVESTIGATING HOW IT CAN BE VERIFIED
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