On the factivity of implicit intersubjective knowledge

Synthese 191 (8):1909-1923 (2014)
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The concept of knowledge can be modelled in epistemic modal logic and, if modelled by using a standard modal operator, it is subject to the problem of logical omniscience. The classical solution to this problem is to distinguish between implicit and explicit knowledge and to construe the knowledge operator as capturing the concept of implicit knowledge. In addition, since a proposition is said to be implicitly known just in case it is derivable from the set of propositions that are explicitly known by using a certain set of logical rules, the concept of implicit knowledge is definable on the basis of the concept of explicit knowledge. In any case, both implicit and explicit knowledge are typically characterized as factive, i.e. such that it is always the case that what is known is also true. The aim of the present paper is twofold: first, we will develop a dynamic system of explicit intersubjective knowledge that allows us to introduce the operator of implicit knowledge by definition; secondly, we will show that it is not possible to hold together the following two theses: (1) the concept of implicit knowledge is definable along the lines indicated above and (2) the concept of implicit knowledge is factive
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