How to be an Infallibilist

Philosophical Issues 26 (1):148-171 (2016)

Abstract

When spelled out properly infallibilism is a viable and even attractive view. Because it has long been summary dismissed, however, we need a guide on how to properly spell it out. The guide has to fulfil four tasks. The first two concern the nature of knowledge: to argue that infallible belief is necessary, and that it is sufficient, for knowledge. The other two concern the norm of belief: to argue that knowledge is necessary, and that it is sufficient, for justified certainty. With such a guide in hand infallibilism can be evaluated on its own merits. The most controversial parts are the first and fourth. The idea that knowledge requires infallible belief is thought to be excessively sceptical. The idea that knowledge warrants certainty is thought to be excessively dogmatic. The present paper addresses the first. It argues that knowledge requires infallible belief.

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Julien Dutant
King's College London

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