Fallibilism

Authors
Adam Leite
Indiana University, Bloomington
Abstract
In the broadest sense of the term, fallibilism is an anti-dogmatic intellectual stance or attitude: an openness to the possibility that one has made an error and an accompanying willingness to give a fair hearing to arguments that one’s belief is incorrect (no matter what that belief happens to be about). So understood, fallibilism’s central insight is that it is possible to remain open to new evidence and arguments while also reasonably treating an issue as settled for the purposes of current inquiry and action. Fallibilism, so construed, was given its most influential formulation – and its name – by C. S. Peirce, though it was advocated by earlier philosophers as well, particularly the later ancient skeptic Philo of Larissa and perhaps also Hume. Contemporary epistemologists almost universally agree in endorsing this intellectual stance; it is part of the undisputed framework within which contemporary epistemological theorizing takes place.
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