Truth, Demonstration and Knowledge. A Classical Solution to the Paradox of Knowability

Elia Zardini


After introducing semantic anti-realism and the paradox of knowability, the paper offers a reconstruction of the anti-realist argument from the theory of understanding. The proposed reconstruction validates an unrestricted principle to the effect that truth requires the existence of a certain kind of “demonstration”. The paper shows that the principle fails to imply the problematic instances of the original unrestricted knowability principle but that the overall view still has unrestricted epistemic consequences. Appealing precisely to the paradox of knowability, the paper also argues, against BHK semantics, for the non-constructive character of the demonstrations envisaged by anti-realists, and contends that, in such a setting, one of the most natural arguments in favour of a revision of classical logic loses all its force.


paradox of knowability; semantic anti-realism, truth

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