Two kinds of a priori infallibility

Synthese 181 (2):241-253 (2011)
Authors
Glen Hoffmann
York University
Abstract
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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DOI 10.1007/s11229-010-9800-9
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References found in this work BETA

Elusive Knowledge.David Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
Individualism and Psychology.Tyler Burge - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (January):3-45.
Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism.Peter Unger - 1975 - Oxford University Press.
Individualism and Self-Knowledge.Tyler Burge - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (November):649-63.
Language, Truth and Logic.A. J. Ayer - 1936 - London: V. Gollancz.

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Citations of this work BETA

Infallibility Naturalized: Reply to Hoffmann.T. Parent - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (3):353-358.

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