Faint-hearted anti-realism and knowability

Philosophia 37 (3):511-523 (2009)
It is often claimed that anti-realists are compelled to reject the inference of the knowability paradox, that there are no unknown truths. I call those anti-realists who feel so compelled ‘faint-hearted’, and argue in turn that anti-realists should affirm this inference, if it is to be consistent. A major part of my strategy in defending anti-realism is to formulate an anti-realist definition of truth according to which a statement is true only if it is verified by someone, at some time. I also liberalize what is meant by a verification to allow for indirect forms of verification. From this vantage point, I examine a key objection to anti-realism, that it is committed to the necessary existence of minds, and reject a response to this problem set forth by Michael Hand. In turn I provide a more successful anti-realist response to the necessary minds problem that incorporates what I call an ‘agential’ view of verification. I conclude by considering what intellectual cost there is to being an anti-realist in the sense I am advocating.
Keywords Knowability  Anti-realism  Verificationism  Truth  Michael Hand  The Fitch paradox
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-008-9174-0
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References found in this work BETA
Jc Beall & Greg Restall (2000). Logical Pluralism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78 (4):475 – 493.
JC Beall (2000). Fitch's Proof, Verificationism, and the Knower Paradox. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78 (2):241 – 247.
M. Hand (2003). Knowability and Epistemic Truth. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2):216 – 228.

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