Fallibilism is the position that some or all of our beliefs are liable to error and thus lack the maximum epistemic justification of certainty. Most philosophers today recognise fallibilism at least as regards some class of beliefs. Fallibilism stands in direct opposition to the Cartesian demand for the grounding of all knowledge in certainty as in classical foundationalism. Fallibilism has been influential among scientists that adopt a critical realist stance, for they believe that scientific theories are approximating reality to a greater or lesser extent, and, thus, that theories are open to being revised or rejected in accord with new data. Fallibilism can likewise appear attractive for the theologian that recognises that theological formulation is always open to revision and further emendation. Indeed, such a view is central to the theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg, who views all theological claims as hypotheses liable to falsification prior to Jesus' second coming.
   Further reading: Audi 2003; Polanyi 1974

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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