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Knowability and the capacity to know

Synthese 173 (1):53 - 73 (2010)

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  1. CRITIQUE OF IMPURE REASON: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning.Steven James Bartlett - 2020 - Salem, USA: Studies in Theory and Behavior.
    The _Critique of Impure Reason: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning_ comprises a major and important contribution to philosophy. Thanks to the generosity of its publisher, this massive 885-page volume has been published as a free open access eBook (3.2MB). It inaugurates a revolutionary paradigm shift in philosophical thought by providing compelling and long-sought-for solutions to a wide range of philosophical problems. In the process, the work fundamentally transforms the way in which the concepts of reference, meaning, and possibility are understood. (...)
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  • The Higher Order Approach to Consciousness is Defunct.Ned Block - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):419 - 431.
    The higher order approach to consciousness attempts to build a theory of consciousness from the insight that a conscious state is one that the subject is conscious of. There is a well-known objection1 to the higher order approach, a version of which is fatal. Proponents of the higher order approach have realized that the objection is significant. They have dealt with it via what David Rosenthal calls a “retreat” (2005b, p. 179) but that retreat fails to solve the problem.
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  • Counterfactual Knowability Revisited.Julian J. Schlöder - 2019 - Synthese:1-15.
    Anti-realism is plagued by Fitch’s paradox: the remarkable result that if one accepts that all truths are knowable, minimal assumptions about the nature of knowledge entail that every truth is known. Dorothy Edgington suggests to address this problem by understanding p is knowable to be a counterfactual claim, but her proposal must contend with a forceful objection by Timothy Williamson. I revisit Edgington’s basic idea and find that Williamson’s objection is obviated by a refined understanding of counterfactual knowability that is (...)
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  • Actuality and Knowability.David J. Chalmers - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):411-419.
    It is widely believed that for all p, or at least for all entertainable p, it is knowable a priori that (p iff actually p). It is even more widely believed that for all such p, it is knowable that (p iff actually p). There is a simple argument against these claims from four antecedently plausible premises.
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  • ‘Brain-Malfunction’ Cases and the Dispositionalist Reply to Frankfurt's Attack on PAP.Greg Janzen - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):646-657.
    Harry Frankfurt has famously argued against the principle of alternate possibilities by presenting a case in which, apparently, a person is morally responsible for what he has done even though he could not have done otherwise. A number of commentators have proposed dispositionalist responses to Frankfurt, arguing that he has not produced a counterexample to PAP because, contrary to appearances, the ability to do otherwise is indeed present but is a disposition that has been ‘masked’ or ‘finked’ by the presence (...)
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  • Knowability as Potential Knowledge.André Fuhrmann - 2014 - Synthese 191 (7):1627-1648.
    The thesis that every truth is knowable is usually glossed by decomposing knowability into possibility and knowledge. Under elementary assumptions about possibility and knowledge, considered as modal operators, the thesis collapses the distinction between truth and knowledge (as shown by the so-called Fitch-argument). We show that there is a more plausible interpretation of knowability—one that does not decompose the notion in the usual way—to which the Fitch-argument does not apply. We call this the potential knowledge-interpretation of knowability. We compare our (...)
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  • Factive Knowability and the Problem of Possible Omniscience.Jan Heylen - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (1):65-87.
    Famously, the Church–Fitch paradox of knowability is a deductive argument from the thesis that all truths are knowable to the conclusion that all truths are known. In this argument, knowability is analyzed in terms of having the possibility to know. Several philosophers have objected to this analysis, because it turns knowability into a nonfactive notion. In addition, they claim that, if the knowability thesis is reformulated with the help of factive concepts of knowability, then omniscience can be avoided. In this (...)
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  • Ability, Modality, and Genericity.John Maier - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (2):411-428.
    Accounts of ability in the philosophical literature have tended to be modal ones: claims about an agent’s abilities are understood in terms of what she does in certain non-actual scenarios. In contrast, a prominent account of ability ascriptions in the recent semantics literature appeals to genericity: claims about an agent’s abilities are understood in terms of what she generally manages to do. The latter account resolves some long-standing problems for modal accounts, but encounters problems of its own. I propose a (...)
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