Knowability and the capacity to know

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

Abstract

This paper presents a generalized form of Fitch's paradox of knowability, with the aim of showing that the questions it raises are not peculiar to the topics of knowledge, belief, or other epistemic notions. Drawing lessons from the generalization, the paper offers a solution to Fitch's paradox that exploits an understanding of modal talk about what could be known in terms of capacities to know. It is argued that, in rare cases, one might have the capacity to know that p even if it is metaphysically impossible for anyone to know that p, and that recognizing this fact provides the resources to solve Fitch's paradox

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
The Paradoxes of Time Travel.David K. Lewis - 1976 - American Philosophical Quarterly 13 (2):145-152.
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.David Hume - 1955 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press. pp. 112.

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Citations of this work

Ability, Modality, and Genericity.John Maier - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (2):411-428.
Actuality and Knowability.David J. Chalmers - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):411-419.

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