Skip to main content

Fallibilism

Fallibilism


Fallibilism is the view that human knowledge lacks a secure and an infallible foundation. Fallibilism is associated in particular with American scientist and philosopher Charles S. Peirce (18391914) and Austrian-born philosopher Karl Popper (19021994). In its most comprehensive form the fallibilist maintains that people cannot know anything with certainty. In its more restricted forms uncertainty is attributed to a particular domain of beliefs, such as empirical or religious beliefs. What separates fallibilists from others is the confidence each gives to epistemological success in general or within a particular domain. Participants within the science/religion discussion quite frequently affirm fallibilism. Its merit seems to be that it opens up possibilities for a dialogue on more even terms than foundationalism does.


See also Falsifiability; Postfoundationalism


Bibliography

peirce, charles s. collected papers, eds. charles hartshorne, paul weiss, and arthur w. burks. cambridge, mass.: belknap press, 19311958.

popper, karl. conjectures and refutations: the growth of scientific knowledge. london: routledge and kegan paul, 1963.

van huyssteen, j. wentzel. the shaping of rationality: toward interdisciplinarity in theology and science. grand rapids, mich.: eerdmans, 1999.

mikael stenmark

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Fallibilism." Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Fallibilism." Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 21, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fallibilism

"Fallibilism." Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. . Retrieved November 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fallibilism

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.