A well-known open problem in epistemic logic is to give a syntactic characterization of the successful formulas. Semantically, a formula is successful if and only if for any pointed model where it is true, it remains true after deleting all points where the formula was false. The classic example of a formula that is not successful in this sense is the “Moore sentence” p ∧ ¬BOXp, read as “p is true but you do not know p.” Not only is the Moore sentence unsuccessful, it is self-refuting, for it never remains true as described. We show that in logics of knowledge and belief for a single agent (extended by S5), Moorean phenomena are the source of all self-refutation; moreover, in logics for an introspective agent (extending KD45), Moorean phenomena are the source of all unsuccessfulness as well. This is a distinctive feature of such logics, for with a non-introspective agent or multiple agents, non-Moorean unsuccessful formulas appear. We also consider how successful and self-refuting formulas relate to the Cartesian and learnable formulas, which have been discussed in connection with Fitch’s “paradox of knowability.” We show that the Cartesian formulas are exactly the formulas that are not eventually self-refuting and that not all learnable formulas are successful. In an appendix, we give syntactic characterizations of the successful and the self-refuting formulas.