Restriction strategies for knowability : Some lessons in false hope

In Joe Salerno (ed.), New Essays on the Knowability Paradox. Oxford University Press (2009)
Authors
Jonathan L. Kvanvig
Washington University in St. Louis
Abstract
The knowability paradox derives from a proof by Frederic Fitch in 1963. The proof purportedly shows that if all truths are knowable, it follows that all truths are known. Antirealists, wed as they are to the idea that truth is epistemic, feel threatened by the proof. For what better way to express the epistemic character of truth than to insist that all truths are knowable? Yet, if that insistence logically compels similar assent to some omniscience claim, antirealism is in jeopardy. Response to the paradox has drifted toward a common theme, a theme I will argue is a non-starter in resolving the paradox. Seeing this point will also make clear the philosophical inadequacy of simply viewing the paradox as a refutation of a wide range of antirealisms.
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