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New Essays on the Knowability Paradox

Joe Salerno


In 1945, Alonzo Church issued a pair of referee reports in which he anonymously conveyed to Frederic Fitch a surprising proof showing that wherever there is (empirical) ignorance there is also logically unknowable truth. Fitch published this and a generalization of the result in 1963. Ever since, philosophers have been attempting to understand the significance and address the counter-intuitiveness of this, the so-called paradox of knowability. This book assembles Church's referee reports, Fitch's 1963 paper, and nineteen new papers on the knowability paradox. The book contains a general introd ... More

Keywords: Alonzo Church, Frederic Fitch, ignorance, truth, knowability paradox, constructivism, paraconsistency, logic, factionalism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780199285495
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199285495.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Joe Salerno, editor
Australian National University and Saint Louis University
Author Webpage

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Joe Salerno

Part I Early History

Part II Dummett's Constructivism

Part III Paraconsistency and Paracompleteness

Part IV Epistemic and Temporal Operators: Actions, Times and Types

9 Actions That Make Us Know

Johan van Benthem

10 Can Truth Out?

John Burgess

Part V Cartesian Restricted Truth

12 Tennant's Troubles

Timothy Williamson

Part VI Modal and Mathematical Fictions

Part VII Knowability Reconsidered

20 Two Deflationary Approaches to Fitch‐Style Reasoning

Christoph Kelp and Duncan Pritchard

End Matter