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|Paper IPM / Philosophy / 9479||
Although the fallible/infallible distinction in the theory of knowledge has traditionally been upheld by most epistemologists, almost all contemporary theories of knowledge claim to be fallibilist. Fallibilists have, however, been forced to accommodate knowledge of necessary truths. This has proved to be a daunting task, not least because there is as yet no consensus on how the fallible/infallible divide is to be understood. In this article, after examining and rejecting a number of representative accounts of the notion of fallible knowledge, I argue that the main problems with these accounts actually stem from the very coherence of that notion. I then claim that the distinction is best understood in terms of the externalist/internalist conceptions of knowledge. Finally, I seek to garner some independent support for the proposal by highlighting some of its consequences, including its surprising bearing on certain recent and seemingly distant controversies involving issues in epistemology and philosophy of mind.
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