Classical Invariantism and the Puzzle of Fallibilism

Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):221-44 (2008)
This paper revisits a puzzle that arises for theories of knowledge according to which one can know on the basis of merely inductive grounds. No matter how strong such theories require inductive grounds to be if a belief based on them is to qualify as knowledge, there are certain beliefs (namely, about the outcome of fair lotteries) that are based on even stronger inductive grounds, while, intuitively, they do not qualify as knowledge. This paper discusses what is often regarded as the most promising classical invariantist solution to the puzzle, namely, that beliefs about the outcomes of fair lotteries do not qualify as knowledge because they are too lucky to do so (or, relatedly, because they do not satisfy a safety condition on knowledge), while other beliefs based on potentially weaker inductive grounds are not too lucky (or, relatedly, because they are safe). A case is presented that shows that this solution to the puzzle is actually not viable. It is argued that there is no obvious alternative solution in sight and that therefore the puzzle still awaits a classical invariantist solution.
Keywords Epistemology  Modal Epistemology  Lotteries  Invariantism  Puzzle of Fallibilism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2008.tb00077.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,165
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?Edmund Gettier - 1963 - Analysis 23 (6):121-123.
Elusive Knowledge.David Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

123 ( #39,625 of 2,172,018 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #173,295 of 2,172,018 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums