Is omniscience a solution to the knowability paradox?

  • Jing Wang (Xiamen University)


From fairly innocuous assumptions, the Knowability Paradox demonstrates that if it is possible for every truth to be known, then an unacceptable conclusion, that every truth is in fact known, could be deduced. In sight of the omniscient view, which proposes that every truth is known, we appear to have a solution to the Knowability Paradox. This paper intends to argue that the omniscient approach cannot be such a solution. On the one hand, the omniscient view is not an anti-realist theory. Although each anti-realist cannot afford to know every truth, the omniscient can know every truth beyond human-being’s epistemic capacity. On the other hand, anti-realism demands the existence of a linguistic community in which the omniscient does not live. Anti-realists claim that truth, like linguistic meaning, is intimately related to the use of relevant expressions in human linguistic community. On the contrary, the omniscient is not accepted as a potential relevant knowing subject existing in such community. The paper further proposes a specific definition of K-operator in order to prove that the omniscient cannot meet the conditions of “the members of linguistic community”. The solution that takes into account omniscience cannot succeed in avoiding Knowability Paradox.


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Wang (Xiamen University), J. (2013). Is omniscience a solution to the knowability paradox?. Intuitio, 6(2), 200-210. Recuperado de