Synthese

, Volume 190, Issue 17, pp 3751–3775

Why reliabilism does not permit easy knowledge

Authors

    • Department of Philosophy1 University of New Mexico
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11229-012-0222-8

Cite this article as:
Becker, K. Synthese (2013) 190: 3751. doi:10.1007/s11229-012-0222-8

Abstract

Reliabilism furnishes an account of basic knowledge that circumvents the problem of the given. However, reliabilism and other epistemological theories that countenance basic knowledge have been criticized for permitting all-too-easy higher-level knowledge. In this paper, I describe the problem of easy knowledge, look briefly at proposed solutions, and then develop my own. I argue that the easy knowledge problem, as it applies to reliabilism, hinges on a false and too crude understanding of ‘reliable’. With a more plausible conception of ‘reliable’, a simple and elegant solution emerges.

Keywords

Basic knowledgeBootstrappingEasy knowledge problemHigher-order knowledgeReliabilism

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012