Philosophical Studies 177 (1):65-87 (2020)

Jan Heylen
KU Leuven
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 article we will look closer at two proposals along these lines :557–568, 1985; Fuhrmann in Synthese 191:1627–1648, 2014a), because there are formal models available for each. It will be argued that, even though the problem of omniscience can be averted, the problem of possible or potential omniscience cannot: there is an accessible state at which all truths are known. Furthermore, it will be argued that possible or potential omniscience is a price that is too high to pay. Others who have proposed to solve the paradox with the help of a factive concept of knowability should take note :53–73, 2010; Spencer in Mind 126:466–497, 2017).
Keywords Factive knowability  Actuality  Potential knowledge  Knowability thesis  Church-Fitch paradox of knowability  Possible omniscience  Potential omniscience
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-018-1180-x
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
Elements of Intuitionism.Michael Dummett - 1977 - Oxford University Press.

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