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May 19, 2010



I've read only the introduction of 'Constructing' and listened only to the first of your Locke lectures. With that in mind, I wonder if there is a possible view according to which (i) there is a compact class of truths that constitute the scrtutability base; but (ii) it is denied that there are truths that are not members of the scrutability base, even if such truths were, say, a priori knowable from the scrutability base. It seems to me that your view would deny (ii). According to your view, there are truths which are not members of the scrutability base but which are nevertheless a priori knowable from the scrutability base. But why suppose there are such truths? Why, e.g., if the scrutability base includes only microphysical truths, claim that there are macrophysical truths, which, in this example, are not members of the scrutability base but are a priori knowable from the scrutability base? Why not deny that, at the end of the day, there are such macrophysical truths? Is it possible to go about things in this (perhaps simpler) way? Have I maybe overlooked something I've read in the introduction or heard in the first lecture?


You could. But I think the truths include e.g. 'water is H2O', 'I am David Chalmers, 'Paris is the capital of France', and so on. If such things are truths, the sets of truths will not itself be compact. Perhaps the best way to deny that these are truths would be to accept a nilihist view on which water, people, countries and so on don't exist. I don't find such a view attractive myself, though.

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