Single Idea 19702

[catalogued under 11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 3. Fallibilism]

Full Idea

It will ordinarily be conversationally inappropriate to say 'I know that p, but p might be false' even if it is true, since this would mislead an interlocutor to infer that that possibility was an epistemically significant one.

Gist of Idea

We can't normally say that we know something 'but it might be false'


Trent Dougherty (Fallibilism [2011], 'Epistemic')

Book Reference

'Routledge Companion to Epistemology', ed/tr. Bernecker,S/Pritchard,D [Routledge 2014], p.142

A Reaction

This seems to imply hypocrisy when a fallibilist philosopher claims (in non-philosophical company) to know something. Fair enough. Philosophers are in a permanent state of hypocrisy about what they are really thinking. That's the fun of it.