Fallibilism

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2005)

Authors
Stephen Hetherington
University of New South Wales
Abstract
Fallibilism is the epistemological thesis that no belief (theory, view, thesis, and so on) can ever be rationally supported or justified in a conclusive way. Always, there remains a possible doubt as to the truth of the belief. Fallibilism applies that assessment even to science’s best-entrenched claims and to people’s best-loved commonsense views. Some epistemologists have taken fallibilism to imply skepticism, according to which none of those claims or views are ever well justified or knowledge. In fact, though, it is fallibilist epistemologists (which is to say, the majority of epistemologists) who tend not to be skeptics about the existence of knowledge or justified belief. Generally, those epistemologists see themselves as thinking about knowledge and justification in a comparatively realistic way — by recognizing the fallibilist realities of human cognitive capacities, even while accommodating those fallibilities within a theory that allows perpetually fallible people to have knowledge and justified beliefs. Still, although that is the aim of most epistemologists, the question arises of whether it is a coherent aim. Are they pursuing a coherent way of thinking about knowledge and justification? Much current philosophical debate is centered upon that question. Epistemologists generally seek to understand knowledge and justification in a way that permits fallibilism to be describing a benign truth about how we can gain knowledge and justified beliefs. One way of encapsulating that project is by asking whether it is possible for a person ever to have fallible knowledge and justification
Keywords Fallibilism  epistemology
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,966
External links

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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Extended Knower.Stephen Hetherington - 2012 - Philosophical Explorations 15 (2):207 - 218.
Re-Enchanting Realism in Debate with Kyle Stanford.Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem - 2013 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (1):201-224.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Knowledge and Certainty.Jason Stanley - 2008 - Philosophical Issues 18 (1):35-57.
Peirce, Fallibilism, and the Science of Mathematics.Elizabeth F. Cooke - 2003 - Philosophia Mathematica 11 (2):158-175.
How to Think About Fallibilism.Baron Reed - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 107 (2):143-157.
Fallibilism, Factivity and Epistemically Truth-Guaranteeing Justification.Boris Rähme - 2007 - In Nils Gilje & Harald Grimen (eds.), Discursive Modernity. Universitetsforlaget.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
85 ( #87,767 of 2,235,908 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #982,553 of 2,235,908 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature