Re: Fitch's paradox and OWA

From: Daryl McCullough <>
Date: 31 Dec 2009 07:17:47 -0800
Message-ID: <>

Nam Nguyen says...
>Daryl McCullough wrote:
>> Nam Nguyen says...
>>> Daryl McCullough wrote:
>>>> By the way, I haven't thought about it a huge amount, but I
>>>> don't have any problems with the paradox, because I don't
>>>> accept the premise: Every true proposition is potentially knowable.
>>>> It seems to me that sufficiently complex true propositions may never
>>>> be known.
>>> But how can we know it's true in the first place, when its being true
>>> can't be known?
>> I didn't say that we can *know* it is true. That's my point---something
>> can be true without anyone knowing that it is true. It might be true,
>> for example, that there is an even number of grains of sand in the world,
>> but we may never find that out. Is e^pi rational? We may never find out.
>Don't want to beat a dead horse so to speak but not knowing a truth because
>its proof (knowledge) is _finitely_ larger than what one can possibly know
>is *not* the same as not knowing a truth value because the statement is not
>*genuinely* truth-assigned-able. The "sand in the world" being an even number
>example above is of the 1st kind: not the 2nd kind.

That was my point. There can be statements that are true, but which we will never know that they are true. There can also be statements that are true, but which we have no way of ever knowing that they are true. For example, I flip a coin, and before I see whether it lands heads up or tails up, it is run over by train, smashing it into a flat, smooth chip of metal. Now, there is no way of ever knowing whether it was heads-up or tails-up. But it is possible that "It was heads-up before it was smashed" is true.

Statements can be true even if there is no way to ever know that they are true.

Daryl McCullough
Ithaca, NY
Received on Thu Dec 31 2009 - 16:17:47 CET

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