David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 181 (2):241-253 (2011)
On rationalist infallibilism, a wide range of both (i) analytic and (ii) synthetic a priori propositions can be infallibly justified (or absolutely warranted), i.e., justified to a degree that entails their truth and precludes their falsity. Though rationalist infallibilism is indisputably running its course, adherence to at least one of the two species of infallible a priori justification refuses to disappear from mainstream epistemology. Among others, Putnam (1978) still professes the a priori infallibility of some category (i) propositions, while Burge (1986, 1988, 1996) and Lewis (1996) have recently affirmed the a priori infallibility of some category (ii) propositions. In this paper, I take aim at rationalist infallibilism by calling into question the a priori infallibility of both analytic and synthetic propositions. The upshot will be twofold: first, rationalist infallibilism unsurprisingly emerges as a defective epistemological doctrine, and second, more importantly, the case for the a priori infallibility of one or both categories of propositions turns out to lack cogency.
|Keywords||Rationalism A Priori Infallibility Analyticity Self-knowledge|
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A. J. Ayer (1936). Language, Truth and Logic. London, V. Gollancz, Ltd..
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George Bealer (2000). A Theory of the a Priori. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 81 (1):1–30.
Paul A. Boghossian (1994). Analyticity and Conceptual Truth. Philosophical Issues 5:117-131.
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