Truth and the enigma of knowability

Dialectica 61 (4):521–537 (2007)
Since its disc overy by Fitch, the paradox of knowability has been a thorn in the anti-realist's side. Recently both Dummett and Tennant have sought to relieve the anti-realist by restricting the applicability of the knowability principle -- the principle that all truths are knowable -- which has been viewed as both a cardinal doctrine of anti-realism and the assumption for reductio of Fitch's argument. In this paper it is argued that the paradox of knowability is a peculiarly acute manifestation of a syndrome affecting anti-realism, against which Dummett's and Tennant's manoeuvres are not finally efficacious. The anti-realist can only cope with the syndrome by being much clearer about her notion of knowability. In fact, she'll have to offer an account which relativises the notion of knowability both to the world at which knowability is assessed and to the content of the proposition to which it is applied. This is not, however, merely an ad hoc manoeuvre to counter the problematic syndrome; rather it is just what we should expect from the anti-realist's intuitive use of the notion. A preliminary investigation indicates that there is no way of providing a general, systematic explanation of such a notion of knowability and thus an inherent restriction on the principle of knowability -- but one differing from those offered by either Dummett or Tennant -- is developed.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1746-8361.2007.01125.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,488
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

48 ( #101,540 of 1,925,795 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #418,410 of 1,925,795 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.