How to Formulate Arguments from Easy Knowledge, and Maybe How to Resist Them

Abstract

Arguments from “easy knowledge” are meant to refute a class of epistemological views, including foundationalism about perceptual knowledge. I present arguments from easy knowledge in their strongest form, and explain why other formulations in the literature are inferior. I criticize two features of Stewart Cohen’s presentation (2002, 2005), namely his focus on knowing that one’s faculties are reliable, and his use of a Williamson-style closure principle. Rather, the issue around easy knowledge must be understood using a notion of epistemic priority. Roger White’s presentation (2006) is contaminated by the so-called lottery puzzle, which is best kept separate. Distinguishing basic from non-basic visual contents limits the force of the examples discussed by Cohen, White, and Crispin Wright (2007). Finally I present a new strategy for resisting even the best-formulated arguments from easy knowledge

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