Fallibilism and the Knowledge Norm for Assertion and Practical Reasoning*

Jessica Brown

in Assertion

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199573004
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595127 | DOI:
Fallibilism and the Knowledge Norm for Assertion and Practical Reasoning*

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This chapter is interested in what might motivate two different ideas: 1) sufficiency, the claim that knowledge that p is sufficient to place one in a good enough epistemic position to assert that p; and 2) commonality, the idea that knowledge is the common epistemic standard for assertion and practical reasoning. Although both claims are appealed to in the debate between contextualists and invariantists about know, the chapter argues that the existing defence of these claims is inadequate. The chapter considers infallibilism about knowledge as a potential motivation for both claims. This motivation is suggested by the fact that many recent proponents of the knowledge norm are, in one sense or other, infallibilists about knowledge (e.g. Hawthorne, Stanley and Williamson), and that some opponents of the knowledge norm deny sufficiency by appeal to fallibilism (e.g., Hill and Schechter (2007), Brown (2008), and Reed (forthcoming)). However, despite its initial promise, the chapter concludes that infallibilism fails to motivate either claim.

Keywords: knowledge norm; assertion; invariantists; fallibilism; practical reasoning

Chapter.  11512 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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