Despite their substantial appeal, closure principles have fallen on hard times. Both anti-luck conditions on knowledge and the defeasibility of knowledge look to be in tension with natural ways of articulating single-premise closure principles (Lasonen-Aarnio in Philos Stud 157–173, 2008; Schechter in Philos Stud 428–452, 2013). The project of this paper is to show that plausible theses in the epistemology of testimony (‘transmission theses’) face problems structurally identical to those faced by closure principles. First I show how Lasonen-Aarnio’s claim that there is a tension between single premise closure and anti-luck constraints on knowledge can be extended to make trouble for transmission theses. Second, I show how Schechter’s claim that there is a tension between single premise closure and the thought that knowledge is defeasible can be extended to make trouble for transmission theses. I end the paper by sketching the consequences of this trouble for the dialectic in the epistemology of testimony.
KeywordsEpistemology of testimony Defeat Closure Luck Self-doubt
Thanks to Lizzie Fricker, John Hawthorne, Emil Moeller, and Timothy Williamson for their helpful discussion and comments. Particular thanks go to an anonymous reviewer for detailed and insightful comments on earlier drafts.
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