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Descriptions and Unknowability

Heylen, Jan (2010) Descriptions and Unknowability. Analysis, 70 (1). pp. 50-52.


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In a recent paper Horsten embarked on a journey along the limits of the domain of the unknowable. Rather than knowability simpliciter, he considered a priori knowability, and by the latter he meant absolute provability, i.e. provability that is not relativized to a formal system. He presented an argument for the conclusion that it is not absolutely provable that there is a natural number of which it is true but absolutely unprovable that it has a certain property. The argument depends on a description principle. I will argue that the latter principle implies the knowability of all arithmetical truths. Therefore, Horsten's argument is either sound but its conclusion is trivial, or his argument is unsound.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Heylen, Janjan.heylen@kuleuven.be0000-0002-2809-3320
Keywords: A priori knowability of mathematical truths; Descriptions; Collapse argument
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Epistemology
Depositing User: Dr. Jan Heylen
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2019 17:29
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2019 17:29
Item ID: 16736
Journal or Publication Title: Analysis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
DOI or Unique Handle:
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Epistemology
Date: 2010
Page Range: pp. 50-52
Volume: 70
Number: 1

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