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Antirealism and universal knowability

Synthese 173 (1):25 - 39 (2010)
Abstract
Truth’s universal knowability entails its discovery. This threatens antirealism, which is thought to require it. Fortunately, antirealism is not committed to it. Avoiding it requires adoption (and extension) of Dag Prawitz’s position in his long-term disagreement with Michael Dummett on the notion of provability involved in intuitionism’s identification of it with truth. Antirealism (intuitionism generalized) must accommodate a notion of lost-opportunity truth (a kind of recognition-transcendent truth), and even truth consisting in the presence of unperformable verifications. Dummett’s position cannot abide this, while Prawitz’s can. Antirealism’s epistemic notion of truth derives from general features of its meaning theory, not from a universal knowability principle.
Keywords Antirealism  Dummett  Prawitz  knowability
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    Michael Dummett (1976). What is a Theory of Meaning? (II). In Gareth Evans & John McDowell (eds.), Truth and Meaning: Essays in Semantics. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    Michael Dummett (1982). Realism. Synthese 52 (1):145--165.
    Michael Dummett (1987). Reply to Dag Prawitz. In Barry Taylor (ed.), Michael Dummett: Contributions to Philosophy. Distributors for the United States and Canada, Kluwer Academic Publishers. 281--316.

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