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fallibilism


Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


Extract

E pistemology, philosophy of science Peirce 's term for the view that none of our beliefs, even the apparently most fundamental, is certain and that any of our beliefs can be revised. A false conclusion might be derived from inductive or deductive inferences. An individually held proposition that is considered to be certain might be false in a web of belief. Rightly understood, relinquishing certainty does not open the way to skeptical doubt , but is instead a motivation for further investigation. This attitude is opposed to infallibilism, which is held, for example, by religions that declare that their teachings are absolutely right and are not subject to error. All views that accept the possibility of error or hold that knowledge is in principle indeterminate and modifiable are fallibilist. Hence, Reichenbach, Popper , and Quine are all fallibilists. “For years in the course of this ripening process, I used for myself to collect my ideas under the designation fallibilism; and indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already.” Peirce, Collected Papers , vol. I ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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