Synthese 191 (6):1119-1146 (2014)

Michael Hannon
Nottingham University
This paper defends the epistemological doctrine of fallibilism from recent objections. In “The Myth of Knowledge” Laurence BonJour argues that we should reject fallibilism for two main reasons: first, there is no adequate way to specify what level of justification is required for fallible knowledge; second, we cannot explain why any level of justification that is less than fully conclusive should have the significance that makes knowledge valuable. I will reply to these challenges in a way that allows me to make progress on a number of important issues in contemporary epistemology: epistemic value, the functional roles of knowledge attributions, experimental epistemology, skepticism, the Gettier problem, and the lottery paradox. My argument is motivated by appealing to various insights derived from the method of ‘practical explication’, particularly the idea that a central purpose of the concept of knowledge is to flag reliable informants. My conclusion is that various practical and theoretical considerations derived from the method of practical explication support the fallibilist conception of knowledge.
Keywords Fallibilism  Knowledge  Value  True belief  Gettier  BonJour
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-013-0315-z
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Epistemic Luck.Duncan Pritchard - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - London and New York: Routledge.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Cumulative Case Argument for Infallibilism.Nevin Climenhaga - 2021 - In Christos Kyriacou & Kevin Wallbridge (eds.), Skeptical Invariantism Reconsidered. Routledge.
The Value of Knowledge.J. Adam Carter, Duncan Pritchard & John Turri - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
A Solution to Knowledge’s Threshold Problem.Michael Hannon - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):607-629.
The Universal Core of Knowledge.Michael Hannon - 2015 - Synthese 192 (3):769-786.
The Importance of Knowledge Ascriptions.Michael J. Hannon - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (12):856-866.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

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