Formal Problems About Knowledge

Roy Sorensen

in The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780195301700
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Formal Problems About Knowledge

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  • Epistemology
  • Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic



This article examines epistemological issues that have logical aspects. It considers the epistemology of proof with the help of the knower's paradox. One solution to this paradox is that knowledge is not closed under deduction. This article reviews the broader history of this maneuver along with the relevant-alternatives model of knowledge. This model assumes that “know” is an absolute term like “flat.” This article also argues that epistemic absolute terms differ from extensional absolute terms by virtue of their sensitivity to the completeness of the alternatives. This asymmetry undermines recent claims that there is a structural parallel between the supervaluational and epistemicist theories of vagueness. Finally, this article suggests that the ability of logical demonstration to produce knowledge has been overestimated.

Keywords: epistemological issues; knower paradox; epistemic absolute terms; extensional absolute terms; epistemicist theories

Article.  12813 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Epistemology ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

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