If every true proposition is knowable, then every believed (decidable) proposition is true, or the incompleteness of the intuitionistic solution to the paradox of knowability
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Fitch’s paradox of knowability is an apparently valid reasoning from the assumption (typical of semantic anti-realism) that every true proposition is knowable to the unacceptable conclusion that every true proposition is known. The paper develops a critical dialectic wrt one of the best motivated solutions to the paradox which have been proposed on behalf of semantic anti-realism—namely, the intuitionistic solution. The solution consists, on the one hand, in accepting the intuitionistically valid part of Fitch’s reasoning while, on the other hand, exploiting the characteristic weakness of intuitionistic logic in order to preserve the consistency of such acceptance with the denial of omniscience. It is ﬁrst remarked how the solution still commits one to acceptance of modal claims which are unwarranted even by the lights of standard intuitionistic semantics. A novel form of the paradox is then introduced, which focuses on infallibility rather than omniscience and derives, from semantic anti-realism and a highly plausible constraint on knowledge, that every believed proposition is not untrue. Because of the logical form of this conclusion, an analogue of the intuitionistic solution for the novel form of the paradox would require drawing the characteristic intuitionistic distinctions wrt decidable propositions, which cannot be done. Semantic anti-realism still intuitionistically entails the unacceptable conclusion that every believed (decidable) proposition is true.
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