David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Studies 142 (1):55 - 66 (2009)
We begin by asking what fallibilism about knowledge is, distinguishing several conceptions of fallibilism and giving reason to accept what we call strong epistemic fallibilism, the view that one can know that something is the case even if there remains an epistemic chance, for one, that it is not the case. The task of the paper, then, concerns how best to defend this sort of fallibilism from the objection that it is “mad,” that it licenses absurd claims such as “I know that p but there’s a chance that not p ” and “ p but it there’s a chance that not p .” We argue that the best defense of fallibilism against this objection—a “pragmatist” defense—makes the following claims. First, while knowledge that p is compatible with an epistemic chance that not- p , it is compatible only with an insignificant such chance. Second, the insignificance of the chance that not- p is plausibly understood in terms of the irrelevance of that chance to p ’s serving as a ‘justifier’, for action as well as belief. In other words, if you know that p , then any chance for you that not p doesn’t stand in the way of p ’s being properly put to work as a basis for action and belief.
|Keywords||Epistemology Knowledge Justification Fallibilism Pragmatism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Stewart Cohen (1988). How to Be a Fallibilist. Philosophical Perspectives 2:91-123.
Earl Brink Conee (2004). Evidentialism: Essays in Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
Trent Dougherty & Patrick Rysiew (2009). Fallibilism, Epistemic Possibility, and Concessive Knowledge Attributions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (1):123-132.
John Hawthorne (2004). Knowledge and Lotteries. Oxford University Press.
Baron Reed (2002). How to Think About Fallibilism. Philosophical Studies 107 (2):143-157.
Citations of this work BETA
Aaron Rizzieri (2011). Pragmatic Encroachment, Stakes, and Religious Knowledge. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 70 (3):217-229.
Jonathan E. Adler (2012). Contextualism and Fallibility: Pragmatic Encroachment, Possibility, and Strength of Epistemic Position. Synthese 188 (2):247-272.
Hagit Benbaji (2009). On the Pragmatic Explanation of Concessive Knowledge Attributions. Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (3):225-237.
Similar books and articles
Jerome G. Manis & Bernard N. Meltzer (1994). Chance in Human Affairs. Sociological Theory 12 (1):45-56.
Toby Handfield (2012). A Philosophical Guide to Chance: Physical Probability. Cambridge University Press.
Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath (2009). Knowledge in an Uncertain World. Oxford University Press.
Anthony Brueckner (2005). Fallibilism, Underdetermination, and Skepticism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (2):384–391.
Roberta L. Millstein (2006). Discussion of "Four Case Studies on Chance in Evolution&Quot;: Philosophical Themes and Questions. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):678-687.
Alexander S. Harper (2010). Fallibilism, Contextualism and Second-Order Skepticism. Philosophical Investigations 33 (4):339-359.
Clayton Littlejohn (2011). Concessive Knowledge Attributions and Fallibilism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (3):603-619.
Jonathan Schaffer (2007). Deterministic Chance? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):113 - 140.
Dylan Dodd (2011). Against Fallibilism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):665 - 685.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads64 ( #22,652 of 1,098,974 )
Recent downloads (6 months)13 ( #13,031 of 1,098,974 )
How can I increase my downloads?