Document Type

Post-Print

Publication Date

2007

Abstract

Suppose Ted is in an ordinary house in good viewing conditions and believes red, his table is red, entirely because he sees his table and its color; he also believes not-white, it is false that his table is white and illuminated by a red light, because not-white is entailed by red. The following three claims about this table case clash, but each seems plausible: 1. Ted’s epistemic position is strong enough for him to know red. 2. Ted cannot know not-white on the basis of red. 3. The epistemic closure principle, suitably restricted, is true. Stewart Cohen has called this three-way clash of intuitions the problem of easy knowledge. If we wish to resolve the clash without accepting skepticism, we seem to have two options. According to the hard argument, the best response is to reject 3. The easy argument rejects 2. But there may be a third alternative, the reverse argument, which rejects 1 without ceding a substantial amount of ground to the skeptic. In this essay I criticize recent versions of the reverse argument and the hard argument, thereby lending support to the easy argument.

Document Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1007/s12136-007-0014-9

Publication Information

Acta Analytica

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Philosophy Commons

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