The Case for Infallibilism

In C. Penco, M. Vignolo, V. Ottonelli & C. Amoretti (eds.), Proceedings of the 4th Latin Meeting in Analytic Philosophy. Genoa: University of Genoa. pp. 59-84 (2007)
Julien Dutant
King's College London
Infallibilism is the claim that knowledge requires that one satisfies some infallibility condition. I spell out three distinct such conditions: epistemic, evidential and modal infallibility. Epistemic infallibility turns out to be simply a consequence of epistemic closure, and is not infallibilist in any relevant sense. Evidential infallibilism i s unwarranted but it is not an satisfactory characterization of the infallibilist intuition. Modal infallibility, by contrast, captures the core infallibilist intuition, and I argue that it is required to solve the Gettier problem and account for lottery cases. Finally, I discuss whether modal infallibilism has sceptical consequences and argue that it is an open question whose answer depends on one’s account of alethic possibility.
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