Graduate studies at Western
Topoi 13 (2):71--78 (1994)
|Abstract||The intuitionistic conception of truth defended by Dummett, Martin Löf and Prawitz, according to which the notion of proof is conceptually prior1 to the notion of truth, is a particular version of the epistemic conception of truth. The paradox of knowability (first published by Frederic Fitch in 1963) has been described by many authors2 as an argument which threatens the epistemic, and the intuitionistic, conception of truth. In order to establish whether this is really so, one has to understand what the epistemic conception of truth really is. So I shall start inpart I with a description of the matter at issue between theepistemic conception of truth and the opposite position, therealistic conception of truth. Inpart II I shall very briefly describe the paradox. Inpart III I shall try to answer the question which appears in the title of this paper: What can we learn from the paradox of knowability?. My conclusion will be that the paradox of knowability is not a refutation of the epistemic conception of truth, but helps us to better formulate (and understand) such a view.|
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