Basic Knowledge and Easy Understanding

Acta Analytica 27 (2):145-161 (2012)
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Abstract

Reliabilism is a theory that countenances basic knowledge, that is, knowledge from a reliable source, without requiring that the agent knows the source is reliable. Critics (especially Cohen 2002 ) have argued that such theories generate all-too-easy, intuitively implausible cases of higher-order knowledge based on inference from basic knowledge. For present purposes, the criticism might be recast as claiming that reliabilism implausibly generates cases of understanding from brute, basic knowledge. I argue that the easy knowledge (or easy understanding) criticism rests on an implicit mischaracterization of the notion of a reliable process. Properly understood, reliable processes do not permit the transition from basic knowledge to understanding based on inference.

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Kelly Becker
University of New Mexico

Citations of this work

Sensitivity, Safety, and Epistemic Closure.Bin Zhao - 2022 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 30 (1):56-71.
On Relativizing the Sensitivity Condition to Belief-Formation Methods.Bin Zhao - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (2):165-175.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Epistemology and cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
A virtue epistemology.Ernest Sosa - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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