Caught in the Language-Game

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In this paper, I frst introduce the main motivations for the internalism/externalism dichotomy in epistemology and explore
diferent accounts of epistemic justifcation, mostly externalist, arising from Dretske’s relevant alternatives theory of knowledge, namely the reliabilism of Goldman and Nozick, the contextualism of Cohen and DeRose, which is governed by fallibilist standards, and Lewis’ version of contextualism, to which infallibilist standards apply. I then argue that Wittgenstein critically anticipates many of these strategies and tries to avoid such a dichotomy by assuming a form of infallibilism which is neither internal nor external. After introducing the idea of a Wittgensteinian hinge epistemology and how it responds to the problem of epistemic justifcation and to the particular challenge posed by radical scepticism, I defend the view that infallibility is logically unavoidable when we realize that we are always trapped in one language-game or another, even if
we constantly switch between language-games.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1055
Number of pages13
JournalTopoi-An international review of philosophy
Early online date8 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Hinge epistemology
  • Infallibilism
  • Internalism/externalism
  • Language-games
  • Wittgenstein


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