Counterfactual knowability revisited

Synthese:1-15 (2019)

Authors
Julian J. Schlöder
University of Amsterdam
Abstract
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 grounded in possible courses of inquiry. I arrive at a precise definition of knowability that is not just a technical avoidance of paradox, but is metaphysically sound and does justice to the anti-realist idea.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-019-02087-y
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References found in this work BETA

The Logical Basis of Metaphysics.Michael DUMMETT - 1991 - Harvard University Press.
The Logical Basis of Metaphysics.Michael Dummett, Hilary Putnam & James Conant - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (177):519-527.
The Taming of the True.Neil Tennant - 1997 - Oxford University Press.
The Taming of the True.Michael Glanzberg & Neil Tennant - 2000 - Philosophical Review 109 (2):290.
The Paradox of Knowability.Dorothy Edgington - 1985 - Mind 94 (376):557-568.

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