Reason itself is fallible, and this fallibility must find a place in our logic

Posted: June 17, 2010 in Blog, Blogging, Journal, Logic, Misc, miscellaneous, Opinion, Philosophy, Quotes
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“Reason itself is fallible, and this fallibility must find a place in our logic.”
Nicola Abbagnano

 People use logic and reasoning to reach conclusions they think are true. Conclusions reached in this way are considered more certain than emotional perceptions on their own. On the other hand, if such reasoned conclusions are built originally upon a foundation of sense perceptions or subjective facts for that matter, then the argument being considered goes, our most logical conclusions can never be said to be certain because they are built upon the very same fallible perceptions they seek to better. This argument is an example of fallibilism.             

The philosophical doctrine of fallibilism, states that all claims of knowledge could, in principle, be mistaken. This doctrine challenges the belief; if you follow logical reasoning you will achieve absolute knowledge. Fallibilism does not imply the need to abandon our knowledge – we needn’t have logically conclusive justifications for what we know. Rather, it is an admission that, because empirical knowledge can be revised by further observation, any of the things we take as knowledge might possibly turn out to be false. Some fallibilists go further, arguing that absolute certainty about knowledge is impossible. Proponents of fallibilism say the concept is self-contradictory, in that it is itself an absolute knowledge claim. 

 Logical reasoning should guide us in proper communication, debates, decision making, and finding absolute truths. In my studies of logic, I have agreed, and disagreed with its methods. I rarely take what I read, hear, or see at face value. In this day and age with lies, cover-ups, and tainted history books we can never know absolute knowledge absolutely.

Taken from The Philosophy of Quotes @

  1. braonthree says:

    Well, EVERYTHING that issues forth out of humans is fallible: reason, memory, emotion, I don’t care what. Nothing a human being engenders can be infallible, not their logic either. Our fallibility must be factored into every single thing we undertake.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Love the insight. I am studying this logic book intensely. I agree with some of the material. It is so simple yet difficult to understand. Today I was thinking about animals, and comparing their behavior to logic. I figured animals think logically better than humans. I may write about that tomorrow. Welcome aboard!

  2. Gee, I learned a new word today. I’m a fallibilist.

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