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New Essays on the Knowability Paradox$
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Joe Salerno

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285495

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199285495.001.0001

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Tennant's Troubles

Tennant's Troubles

(p.183) 12 Tennant's Troubles
New Essays on the Knowability Paradox

Timothy Williamson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In The Taming of the True (1997), Neil Tennant objects to the specific intuitionistic anti-realist response to Fitch envisaged by the author, and proposes his own alternative responses, still of a broadly intuitionistic anti-realist kind. In response (2000b), the author argued that both Tennant's objections and his alternatives fail, and that the result illustrates a more general point: that moderate forms of anti-realism tend to be the least stable. Tennant replied at length (2001a). For some time the author thought that the problems with his 2001 reply were sufficiently evident to make any further response from me unnecessary. Later experience has taught him otherwise. This chapter shows that Tennant's reply fails completely to meet the difficulties raised in 2000. Since his reply engages with many details of that paper (2000b), while missing the relevance of some of the most crucial ones, the most efficient course is to rehearse the arguments of that paper, interspersing them with discussion of Tennant's objections as they arise. Thus the present chapter constitutes a self-standing critique of Tennant's treatment of the Fitch paradox that properly includes its predecessor.

Keywords:   Fitch paradox, Tenant, Taming of the True, knowability paradox

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