Knowability and the capacity to know

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Abstract

(PDF of penultimate draft; please don’t quote from or cite this version.) Forthcoming in Synthese. Generalizations of Fitch’s paradox of knowability motivate the thesis that in saying that a truth is knowable, or that it could be known, we do not mean that it is possible that it is known. Instead, I argue, claims about knowability express capacities to know. The paper concludes by explaining the requisite sense of “capacity” at work here, and by showing how the paradox of knowability and its generalizations are solved.

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