Journal of Philosophy 112 (5):225-246 (2015)

Authors
Alex Worsnip
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Abstract
Many epistemologists call themselves ‘fallibilists’. But many philosophers of language hold that the meaning of epistemic usages of ‘possible’ ensures a close knowledge- possibility link : a subject’s utterance of ‘it’s possible that not-p’ is true only if the subject does not know that p. This seems to suggest that whatever the core insight behind fallibilism is, it can’t be that a subject could have knowledge which is, for them, possibly false. I argue that, on the contrary, subjects can have such possibly false knowledge. My ultimate aim, then, is to vindicate a very robust form of fallibilism. Uniquely, however, the account I offer does this while also allowing that concessive knowledge attributions – sentences of the form “I know that p, but it’s possible that not-p” – are not only infelicitous but actually false whenever uttered. The account predicts this result without conceding KPL. I argue that my account has the resources to explain some related cases for which the KPL account yields the wrong predictions. Taken as a whole, the linguistic data not only do not support the proposal that subjects cannot have possibly false knowledge, but indeed positively favor the proposal that they can.
Keywords Epistemic modals  Epistemic possibility  Fallibilism  Concessive knowledge attributions  Contextualism
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Reprint years 2015
DOI 10.5840/jphil2015112514
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References found in this work BETA

Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
Defaults in Update Semantics.Frank Veltman - 1996 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 25 (3):221 - 261.
Scorekeeping in a Language Game.David K. Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (3):339.
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Citations of this work BETA

Believing Epistemic Contradictions.Beddor Bob & Simon Goldstein - 2018 - Review of Symbolic Logic (1):87-114.
How to Be an Infallibilist.Julien Dutant - 2016 - Philosophical Issues 26 (1):148-171.
Belief, Credence, and the Preface Paradox.Alex Worsnip - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):549-562.
Knowledge, Hope, and Fallibilism.Matthew A. Benton - 2018, early view - Synthese:1-17.
No Reasons to Believe the False.Javier González De Prado Salas - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):703-722.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

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