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    The paradox of idealization

    Florio, S. and Murzi, J. (2009) The paradox of idealization. Analysis 69 (3), pp. 461-469. ISSN 0003-2638.

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    Abstract

    A well-known proof by Alonzo Church, first published in 1963 by Frederic Fitch, purports to show that all truths are knowable only if all truths are known. This is the Paradox of Knowability. If we take it, quite plausibly, that we are not omniscient, the proof appears to undermine metaphysical doctrines committed to the knowability of truth, such as semantic antirealism. Since its rediscovery by Hart and McGinn (1976), many solutions to the paradox have been offered. In this article, we present a new proof to the effect that not all truths are knowable, which rests on different assumptions from those of the original argument published by Fitch. We highlight the general form of the knowability paradoxes, and argue that anti-realists who favour either an hierarchical or an intuitionistic approach to the Paradox of Knowability are confronted with a dilemma: they must either give up anti-realism or opt for a highly controversial interpretation of the principle that every truth is knowable.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Philosophy
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2011 08:26
    Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/3179

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