Why purists should be infallibilists

  • Michael HannonEmail author


Two of the most orthodox ideas in epistemology are fallibilism and purism. According to the fallibilist, one can know that a particular claim is true even though one’s justification for that claim is less than fully conclusive. According to the purist, knowledge does not depend on practical factors. Fallibilism and purism are widely assumed to be compatible; in fact, the combination of these views has been called the ‘ho-hum,’ obvious, traditional view of knowledge. But I will argue that fallibilism and purism are incompatible. The best explanation for fallibilism requires one to reject purism, while maintaining purism should lead one to reject fallibilism. It follows that the orthodox view of knowledge is deeply mistaken.


Knowledge Fallibilism Purism Justification Pragmatic encroachment 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced StudyUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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