Second best epistemology: fallibility and normativity

Philosophical Studies 176 (8):2043-2066 (2019)
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The Fallibility Norm—the claim that we ought to take our fallibility into account when managing our beliefs—appears to conflict with several other compelling epistemic norms. To shed light on these apparent conflicts, I distinguish two kinds of norms: norms of perfection and norms of compensation. Roughly, norms of perfection tell us how agents ought to behave if they’re to be perfect; norms of compensation tell us how imperfect agents ought to behave in order to compensate for their imperfections. I argue that the Fallibility Norm is a norm of compensation, and that thinking of it like this helps us make progress in debates surrounding disagreement, higher-order evidence, and coherence.



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Joshua DiPaolo
California State University, Fullerton

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A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
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Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.

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