Knowability Paradox and Defeater for Counterfactual Knowledge

지식가능성 역설과 반사실적 조건 명제에 대한 논파자

  • Kim, Namjoong (Research Institute of Philosophy and Liberal Art Education, Sunkyunkwan University)
  • Received : 2014.01.02
  • Accepted : 2014.02.10
  • Published : 2014.02.28


Every (semantic) antirealist accepts one or another form of verification principle. The principle has strong and weak forms, the strong form being highly counterintuitive but the weak one being more plausible. Understandably, antirealists have preferred the weak form of verification principle. Unfortunately, the socalled knowability paradox shows that those two forms are indeed equivalent. To solve this problem, Edgington suggests a yet new form of verification principle. Unfortunately, her new principle has its own difficulty. To overcome this difficulty, Edgington provides a new model of knowledge, according to which every true proposition is somehow associated with a known counterfactual conditional. In this paper, I shall argue that even this new model of knowledge confronts with an insurmountable problem. It is a well-known fact that, in the microscopic levels, some facts manage to occur despite very low physical chances. I will argue that the counterfactuals linked with those facts cannot be known due to the existence of epistemic defeaters. Hence, Edgington's knowledge model does not work in all cases.


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