Why Basic Knowledge is Easy Knowledge
Article first published online: 29 MAY 2007
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Volume 70, Issue 2, pages 417–430, March 2005
How to Cite
COHEN, S. (2005), Why Basic Knowledge is Easy Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 70: 417–430. doi: 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2005.tb00536.x
- Issue published online: 29 MAY 2007
- Article first published online: 29 MAY 2007
The problem of easy knowledge arises for theories that have what I call a “basic knowledge structure”. S has basic knowledge of P just in case S knows P prior to knowing that the cognitive source of S's knowing P is reliable.1 Our knowledge has a basic knowledge structure (BKS) just in case we have basic knowledge and we come to know our faculties are reliable on the basis of our basic knowledge. The problem I raised in “Basic Knowledge and the Problem of Easy Knowledge”2 (BKEK) is that once we allow for basic knowledge, we can come to know our faculties are reliable in ways that intuitively are too easy. This raises a serious doubt about whether we had the basic knowledge in the first place.
In “Easy Knowledge”, Peter Markie argues that BKS theories do not face any problem concerning easy knowledge.3 I argued that the problem arises in two forms, and Markie takes issue with both. I will argue that Markie's defense of BKS theories fails.