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New Essays on the Knowability Paradox$
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Joe Salerno

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285495

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199285495.001.0001

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Restriction Strategies for Knowability: Some Lessons in False Hope

Restriction Strategies for Knowability: Some Lessons in False Hope

(p.205) 13 Restriction Strategies for Knowability: Some Lessons in False Hope
New Essays on the Knowability Paradox

Jonathan L. Kvanvig (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The knowability paradox derives from a proof by Frederic Fitch in 1963. The proof purportedly shows that if all truths are knowable, it follows that all truths are known. Antirealists, wed as they are to the idea that truth is epistemic, feel threatened by the proof. For what better way to express the epistemic character of truth than to insist that all truths are knowable? Yet, if that insistence logically compels similar assent to some omniscience-like claim, antirealism is in jeopardy. Response to the paradox has drifted toward a common theme — a theme that this chapter argues is a non-starter in resolving the paradox. Seeing this point will also make clear the philosophical inadequacy of simply viewing the paradox as a refutation of a wide range of antirealisms.

Keywords:   Fitch paradox, knowability paradox, truth, antirealism

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