Thursday, July 18, 2013

[PHI 3000] You never know just how you look through other people's eyes

The paradox of knowability has been used to show that not all truths are knowable. More specifically:
The paradox of knowability is a logical result suggesting that, necessarily, if all truths are knowable in principle then all truths are in fact known. The contrapositive of the result says, necessarily, if in fact there is an unknown truth, then there is a truth that couldn't possibly be known. More specifically, if p is a truth that is never known then it is unknowable that p is a truth that is never known. The proof has been used to argue against versions of anti-realism committed to the thesis that all truths are knowable. For clearly there are unknown truths; individually and collectively we are non-omniscient. So, by the main result, it is false that all truths are knowable.
Are there in fact truths that cannot be known, even in principle?

Consider the following:

(UT) Through this person's eyes, I look like that.
[that is used as a placeholder for the way I look to this person]
Can I know that (UT) is true? As far as I'm concerned, is (UT) knowable? Or are the Butthole Surfers right?

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