About this topic
Summary Philosophical discussion of norms of assertion has concentrated on whether there is a rule governing the speech act of assertion which specifies a necessary condition for making the speech act permissible on that occasion. The knowledge norm, which says that one must: assert that p only if one knows that p, has been widely defended, but rival accounts require other epistemic or alethic conditions, such as justified or reasonable belief, or that it be reasonable for one to believe, or simply that one's assertion be true. The arguments for such accounts appeal to conversational patterns and linguistic data, as well as intuitions about cases. Debate has ensued over whether there even is such a norm; whether the norm (whatever its content) is constitutive of the speech act of assertion; whether the norm has a different structure, or is flexible or context-sensitive; whether such a norm supports contextualism, or pragmatic encroachment, in epistemology; and whether meeting the norm is not only necessary but also sufficient for (epistemically) permissible assertion. Many discussions also consider whether there are related (epistemic) rules governing proper belief or properly acting on a proposition.
Key works Unger 1975 (Ch. 6) provides an early discussion, but Williamson 1996 / Williamson 2000 (Ch. 11) set the agenda for recent debates over a knowledge norm; Turri 2016 and Benton forthcoming offer the most sustained defenses of the knowledge norm. Important rival accounts are offered by Weiner 2005Douven 2006Lackey 2007, McKinnon 2013 and McKinnon 2015, Pelling 2013, and Goldberg 2015. DeRose 2002 / DeRose 2009 (Ch. 3) argues from the knowledge norm to contextualism; see Turri 2010 for an intriguing reply. Pritchard & Greenough 2009, Brown & Cappelen 2011, and Littlejohn & Turri 2013 contain recent work; see also Buckwalter & Turri 2014, Pagin 2016, Benton 2016, and Benton 2019 for some recent advancements. On whether a sufficiency direction of the knowledge norm is plausible, see Brown 2010, Lackey 2011, Benton 2016, and Lackey 2016. For normative and linguistic issues related to hedged assertion, see Benton & Van Elswyk 2020.
Introductions Weiner 2007 and MacFarlane 2011 are good overviews of the topic; see also Benton 2014, especially section 1, and Benton forthcoming.
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  1. Belief is Weak.John Hawthorne, Daniel Rothschild & Levi Spectre - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1393-1404.
    It is tempting to posit an intimate relationship between belief and assertion. The speech act of assertion seems like a way of transferring the speaker’s belief to his or her audience. If this is right, then you might think that the evidential warrant required for asserting a proposition is just the same as the warrant for believing it. We call this thesis entitlement equality. We argue here that entitlement equality is false, because our everyday notion of belief is unambiguously a (...)
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  2. A Contextualist Defence of the Material Account of Indicative Conditionals.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    The material account of indicative conditionals faces a legion of counterexamples that are the bread and butter in any entry about the subject. For this reason, the material account is widely unpopular among conditional experts. I will argue that this consensus was not built on solid foundations, since these counterexamples are contextual fallacies. They ignore a basic tenet of semantics according to which when evaluating arguments for validity we need to maintain the context constant, otherwise any argumentative form can be (...)
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  3. The Big Four - Their Interdependence and Limitations.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    Four intuitions are recurrent and influential in theories about conditionals: the Ramsey’s test, the Adams’ Thesis, the Equation, and the robustness requirement. For simplicity’s sake, I call these intuitions ‘the big four’. My aim is to show that: (1) the big four are interdependent; (2) they express our inferential dispositions to employ a conditional on a modus ponens; (3) the disposition to employ conditionals on a modus ponens doesn’t have the epistemic significance that is usually attributed to it, since the (...)
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  4. Knowledge is the Norm of Assertion.Matthew A. Benton - forthcoming - In Ernest Sosa, Matthias Steup, John Turri & Blake Roeber (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, 3rd edition. Wiley-Blackwell.
    Assertion is governed by an epistemic norm requiring knowledge. This idea has been hotly debated in recent years, garnering attention in epistemology, philosophy of language, and linguistics. This chapter presents and extends the main arguments in favor of the knowledge norm, from faulty conjunctions, several conversational patterns, judgments of permission, excuse, and blame, and from showing how. With a reply from Peter J. Graham. (Draft. Comments welcome.).
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  5. Assertion: The Constitutive Rule Account and the Engagement Condition Objection.Felix Bräuer - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Many philosophers, following Williamson (The Philosophical Review 105(4): 489–523, 1996), Williamson (Knowledge and its Limits, Oxford, Oxford Univer- sity Press, 2000), subscribe to the constitutive rule account of assertion (CRAA). They hold that the activity of asserting is constituted by a single constitutive rule of assertion. However, in recent work, Maitra (in: Brown & Cappelen (ed). Assertion: new philosophical essays, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011), Johnson (Acta Analytica 33(1): 51–67, 2018), and Kelp and Simion (Synthese 197(1): 125–137, 2020a), Kelp and (...)
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  6. Towards a Eudaimonistic Virtue Epistemology.Berit Brogaard - forthcoming - In Abrol Fairweather (ed.), Naturalizing Virtue Epistemology. Synthese Library.
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  7. On Predicting.Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    I propose an account of the speech act of prediction that denies that the contents of prediction must be about the future and illuminates the relation between prediction and assertion. My account is a synthesis of two ideas: (i) that what is in the future in prediction is the time of discovery and (ii) that, as Benton and Turri recently argued, prediction is best characterized in terms of its constitutive norms.
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  8. Assertion and Modality.Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This essay is an opinionated exploration of the constraints that modal discourse imposes on the theory of assertion. Primary focus is on the question whether modal discourse challenges the traditional view that all assertions have propositional content. This question is tackled largely with reference to discourse involving epistemic modals, although connections with other flavors of modality are noted along the way.
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  9. Degrees of Assertability.Sam Carter - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  10. Can Artificail Entities Assert?Ori Freiman & Boaz Miller - forthcoming - In Sanford C. Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    There is an existing debate regarding the view that technological instruments, devices, or machines can assert ‎or testify. A standard view in epistemology is that only humans can testify. However, the notion of quasi-‎testimony acknowledges that technological devices can assert or testify under some conditions, without ‎denying that humans and machines are not the same. Indeed, there are four relevant differences between ‎humans and instruments. First, unlike humans, machine assertion is not imaginative or playful. Second, ‎machine assertion is prescripted and (...)
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  11. How to Understand Rule-Constituted Kinds.Manuel García-Carpintero - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-21.
    The paper distinguishes between two conceptions of kinds defined by constitutive rules, the one suggested by Searle, and the one invoked by Williamson to define assertion. Against recent arguments to the contrary by Maitra, Johnson and others, it argues for the superiority of the latter in the first place as an account of games. On this basis, the paper argues that the alleged disanalogies between real games and language games suggested in the literature in fact don’t exist. The paper relies (...)
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  12. Antisocial Modelling.Georgi Gardiner - forthcoming - In Alfano Mark, Jeroen De Ridder & Colin Klein (eds.), Social Virtue Epistemology.
    This essay replies to Michael Morreau and Erik J. Olsson’s ‘Learning from Ranters: The Effect of Information Resistance on the Epistemic Quality of Social Network Deliberation’. Morreau and Olsson use simulations to suggest that false ranters—agents who do not update their beliefs and only ever assert false claims—do not diminish the epistemic value of deliberation for other agents and can even be epistemically valuable. They argue conclude that “Our study suggests that including [false] ranters has little or no negative effect (...)
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  13. Assertion, Implicature, and Iterated Knowledge.Eliran Haziza - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    The present paper argues that there is a knowledge norm for conversational implicature: one may conversationally implicate p only if one knows p. Linguistic data about the cancellation behavior of implicatures and the ways they are challenged and criticized by speakers is presented to support the thesis. The knowledge norm for implicature is then used to present a new consideration in favor of the KK thesis. It is argued that if implicature and assertion have knowledge norms, then assertion requires not (...)
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  14. Knowledge of Future Contingents.Andrea Iacona - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    This paper addresses the question whether future contingents are knowable, that is, whether one can know that things will go a certain way even though it is possible that things will not go that way. First I will consider a long-established view that implies a negative answer, and draw attention to some endemic problems that affect its credibility. Then I will sketch an alternative line of thought that prompts a positive answer: future contingents are knowable, although our epistemic access of (...)
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  15. Moore's Paradox and Assertion.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford University Press.
    If I were to say, “Agnes does not know that it is raining, but it is,” this seems like a perfectly coherent way of describing Agnes’s epistemic position. If I were to add, “And I don’t know if it is, either,” this seems quite strange. In this chapter, we shall look at some statements that seem, in some sense, contradictory, even though it seems that these statements can express propositions that are contingently true or false. Moore thought it was paradoxical (...)
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  16. Assertion is Weak.Matthew Mandelkern & Kevin Dorst - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    Recent work has argued that belief is weak: the level of rational credence required for belief is relatively low. That literature has contrasted belief with assertion, arguing that the latter requires an epistemic state much stronger than (weak) belief—perhaps knowledge or even certainty. We argue that this is wrong: assertion is just as weak as belief. We first present a variety of new arguments for this claim, and then show that the standard arguments for stronger norms are not convincing. Finally, (...)
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  17. Lying: Knowledge or Belief?Neri Marsili - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    A new definition of lying is gaining traction, according to which you lie only if you say what you know to be false. Drawing inspiration from “New Evil Demon” scenarios, I present a battery of counterexamples against this “Knowledge Account” of lying. Along the way, I comment upon the methodology of conceptual analysis, the moral implications of the Knowledge Account, and its ties with knowledge-first epistemology.
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  18. Truth: The Rule or the Aim of Assertion?Neri Marsili - forthcoming - Episteme.
    Is truth the rule or the aim of assertions? Philosophers disagree. After reviewing the available evidence, the hypothesis that truth is the aim of assertion is defended against recent attempts to prove that truth is rather a rule of assertion.
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  19. Assertion and Rejection.Julian J. Schlöder - forthcoming - In Daniel Altshuler (ed.), Linguistics Meets Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
    I argue that rejection is a speech act that cannot be reduced to assertion. Adapting an argument by Huw Price, I conclude that rejection is best conceived of as the speech act that is used to register that some other speech act is (or would be) violating a rule of the conversation game. This can be naturally understood as registering *norm violations* where speech acts are characterised by their essential norms. However, I argue that rejection itself is not to be (...)
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  20. Truth's Dialectical Role: From Friction to Tension.Lionel Shapiro - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper contrasts two versions of a pragmatist critique of deflationism about truth. According to the critique, understanding the practice of factual discourse requires understanding a role played in that practice by speakers’ use of the concept of truth. Huw Price takes this role to lie in the expression of attitudes of approval and disapproval toward other speakers’ assertions. Proceeding from Robert Brandom’s analysis of assertion, I defend an alternative account of truth’s role in terms of the acknowledgement and disacknowledgement (...)
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  21. Knowledge Attributions and Lottery Cases: A Review and New Evidence.John Turri - forthcoming - In Igor Douven (ed.), The lottery problem. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
    I review recent empirical findings on knowledge attributions in lottery cases and report a new experiment that advances our understanding of the topic. The main novel finding is that people deny knowledge in lottery cases because of an underlying qualitative difference in how they process probabilistic information. “Outside” information is generic and pertains to a base rate within a population. “Inside” information is specific and pertains to a particular item’s propensity. When an agent receives information that 99% of all lottery (...)
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  22. Certainty and Assertion.Jacques-Henri Vollet - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    It is widely held that assertions are partially governed by an epistemic norm. But what is the epistemic condition set out in the norm? Is it knowledge, truth, belief, or something else? In this paper, I defend a view similar to that of Stanley (2008), according to which the relevant epistemic condition is epistemic certainty, where epistemic certainty (but not knowledge) is context-sensitive. I start by distinguishing epistemic certainty, subjective certainty, and knowledge. Then, I explain why it’s much more plausible (...)
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  23. A Credibility-Backed Norm for Testimony.Matt Weiner - forthcoming - Episteme:1-13.
    I propose that testimony is subject to a norm that is backed by a credibility sanction: whenever the norm is violated, it is appropriate for the testifier to lose some credibility for their future testimony. This is one of a family of sanction-based norms, where violation of the norm makes it appropriate to lose some power; in this case, the power to induce belief through testimony. The applicability of the credibility norm to testimony follows from the epistemology of testimony, in (...)
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  24. A Commitment-Theoretic Account of Moore's Paradox.Jack Woods - forthcoming - In An Atlas of Meaning: Current Research in the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface).
    Moore’s paradox, the infamous felt bizarreness of sincerely uttering something of the form “I believe grass is green, but it ain’t”—has attracted a lot of attention since its original discovery (Moore 1942). It is often taken to be a paradox of belief—in the sense that the locus of the inconsistency is the beliefs of someone who so sincerely utters. This claim has been labeled as the priority thesis: If you have an explanation of why a putative content could not be (...)
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  25. Assertion, Stakes and Expected Blameworthiness: An Insensitive Invariantist Solution to the Bank Cases.Brandon Yip - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    Contextualists and Subject Sensitive Invariantists often cite the knowledge norm of assertion as part of their argument. They claim that the knowledge norms in conjunction with our intuitions about when a subject is properly asserting in low or high stakes contexts provides strong evidence that what counts as knowledge depends on practical factors. In this paper, I present new data to suggest they are mistaken in the way they think about cases involving high and low stakes and I show how (...)
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  26. What’s Wrong with Epistemic Trespassing?Joshua DiPaolo - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (1):223-243.
    Epistemic trespassers are experts who pass judgment on questions in fields where they lack expertise. What’s wrong with epistemic trespassing? I identify several limitations with a seminal analysis to isolate three desiderata on an answer to this question and motivate my own answer. An answer should explain what’s wrong in the cases that motivate inquiry into epistemic trespassing, should explain what’s wrong with epistemic trespassing even if trespassers do not acknowledge their trespassing, and these explanations should not be independent of (...)
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  27. Self-Knowledge Requirements and Moore's Paradox.David James Barnett - 2021 - Philosophical Review 130 (2):227-262.
    Is self-knowledge a requirement of rationality, like consistency, or means-ends coherence? Many claim so, citing the evident impropriety of asserting, and the alleged irrationality of believing, Moore-paradoxical propositions of the form < p, but I don't believe that p>. If there were nothing irrational about failing to know one's own beliefs, they claim, then there would be nothing irrational about Moore-paradoxical assertions or beliefs. This article considers a few ways the data surrounding Moore's paradox might be marshaled to support rational (...)
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  28. The Modal Future: A Theory of Future-Directed Thought and Talk.Fabrizio Cariani - 2021 - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    Provisional draft, pre-production copy of my book “The Modal Future” (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press).
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  29. Scientific Conclusions Need Not Be Accurate, Justified, or Believed by Their Authors.Haixin Dang & Liam Kofi Bright - 2021 - Synthese (3-4):1-17.
    We argue that the main results of scientific papers may appropriately be published even if they are false, unjustified, and not believed to be true or justified by their author. To defend this claim we draw upon the literature studying the norms of assertion, and consider how they would apply if one attempted to hold claims made in scientific papers to their strictures, as assertions and discovery claims in scientific papers seem naturally analogous. We first use a case study of (...)
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  30. Endorsement and Assertion.Will Fleisher - 2021 - Noûs 55 (2):363-384.
    Scientists, philosophers, and other researchers commonly assert their theories. This is surprising, as there are good reasons for skepticism about theories in cutting-edge research. I propose a new account of assertion in research contexts that vindicates these assertions. This account appeals to a distinct propositional attitude called endorsement, which is the rational attitude of committed advocacy researchers have to their theories. The account also appeals to a theory of conversational pragmatics known as the Question Under Discussion model, or QUD. Hence, (...)
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  31. Norms of Assertion in the United States, Germany and Japan.Markus Kneer - 2021 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 118 (37):e2105365118.
    The recent controversy about misinformation has moved a question into the focus of the public eye that has occupied philosophers for decades: Under what conditions is it appropriate to assert a certain claim? When asserting a claim that x, must one know that x? Must x be true? Might it be normatively acceptable to assert whatever one believes? In the largest cross-cultural study to date (total n = 1,091) on the topic, findings from the United States, Germany, and Japan suggest (...)
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  32. Should I Say That? An Experimental Investigation of the Norm of Assertion.Neri Marsili & Alex Wiegmann - 2021 - Cognition 212:104657.
    Assertions are our standard communicative tool for sharing and acquiring information. Recent empirical studies seemingly provide converging evidence that assertions are subject to a factive norm: you are entitled to assert a proposition p only if p is true. All these studies, however, assume that we can treat participants' judgments about what an agent 'should say' as evidence of their intuitions about assertability. This paper argues that this assumption is incorrect, so that the conclusions drawn in these studies are unwarranted. (...)
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  33. Assertion.Peter Pagin & Neri Marsili - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Asserting is the act of claiming that something is the case—for instance, that oranges are citruses, or that there is a traffic congestion on Brooklyn Bridge (at some time). We make assertions to share information, coordinate our actions, defend arguments, and communicate our beliefs and desires. Because of its central role in communication, assertion has been investigated in several disciplines. Linguists, philosophers of language, and logicians rely heavily on the notion of assertion in theorizing about meaning, truth and inference. -/- (...)
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  34. Illocutionary harm.Henry Ian Schiller - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (5):1631-1646.
    A number of philosophers have become interested in the ways that individuals are subject to harm as the performers of illocutionary acts. This paper offers an account of the underlying structure of such harms: I argue that speakers are the subjects of illocutionary harm when there is interference in the entitlement structure of their linguistic activities. This interference comes in two forms: denial and incapacitation. In cases of denial, a speaker is prevented from achieving the outcomes to which they are (...)
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  35. Can Knowledge Really Be Non-Factive?Michael J. Shaffer - 2021 - Logos and Episteme: An International Journal of Epistemology 12 (2):215-226.
    This paper contains a critical examination of the prospects for analyses of knowledge that weaken the factivity condition such that knowledge implies approximate truth.
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  36. Representing Knowledge.Peter van Elswyk - 2021 - The Philosophical Review 130 (1):97-143.
    A speaker's use of a declarative sentence in a context has two effects: it expresses a proposition and represents the speaker as knowing that proposition. This essay is about how to explain the second effect. The standard explanation is act-based. A speaker is represented as knowing because their use of the declarative in a context tokens the act-type of assertion and assertions represent knowledge in what's asserted. I propose a semantic explanation on which declaratives covertly host a "know"-parenthetical. A speaker (...)
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  37. Surprising Suspensions: The Epistemic Value of Being Ignorant.Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2021 - Dissertation, Rutgers University - New Brunswick
    Knowledge is good, ignorance is bad. So it seems, anyway. But in this dissertation, I argue that some ignorance is epistemically valuable. Sometimes, we should suspend judgment even though by believing we would achieve knowledge. In this apology for ignorance (ignorance, that is, of a certain kind), I defend the following four theses: 1) Sometimes, we should continue inquiry in ignorance, even though we are in a position to know the answer, in order to achieve more than mere knowledge (e.g. (...)
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  38. P, but You Don’T Know That P.Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):14667-14690.
    Unlike first-person Moorean sentences, it’s not always awkward to assert, “p, but you don’t know that p.” This can seem puzzling: after all, one can never get one’s audience to know the asserted content by speaking thus. Nevertheless, such assertions can be conversationally useful, for instance, by helping speaker and addressee agree on where to disagree. I will argue that such assertions also make trouble for the growing family of views about the norm of assertion that what licenses proper assertion (...)
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  39. Knowledge and Assertion: A Critique of Lackey.Joshua Anderson - 2020 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 16 (1):33-52.
    In the literature on assertion, there is a common assumption that having the knowledge that p is a sufficient condition for having the epistemic right to assert that p—call this the Knowledge is Sufficient for Assertion Principle, or KSA. Jennifer Lackey has challenged KSA based on several counterexamples that all, roughly, involve isolated secondhand knowledge. In this article, I argue that Lackey’s counterexamples fail to be convincing because her intuition that the agent in her counterexamples both has knowledge and do (...)
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  40. Knowledge and Assertion: A Critique of Lackey.Joshua Anderson - 2020 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 16 (1):33-52.
    In the literature on assertion, there is a common assumption that having the knowledge that p is a sufficient condition for having the epistemic right to assert that p – call this the Knowledge is Sufficient for Assertion Principle, or KSA. Jennifer Lackey has challenged KSA based on several counterexamples that all, roughly, involve isolated secondhand knowledge. In this article, I argue that Lackey’s counterexamples fail to be convincing because her intuition that the agent in her counterexamples both has knowledge (...)
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  41. New Work For Certainty.Bob Beddor - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (8).
    This paper argues that we should assign certainty a central place in epistemology. While epistemic certainty played an important role in the history of epistemology, recent epistemology has tended to dismiss certainty as an unattainable ideal, focusing its attention on knowledge instead. I argue that this is a mistake. Attending to certainty attributions in the wild suggests that much of our everyday knowledge qualifies, in appropriate contexts, as certain. After developing a semantics for certainty ascriptions, I put certainty to explanatory (...)
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  42. Hedged Assertion.Matthew A. Benton & Peter Van Elswyk - 2020 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 245-263.
    Surprisingly little has been written about hedged assertion. Linguists often focus on semantic or syntactic theorizing about, for example, grammatical evidentials or epistemic modals, but pay far less attention to what hedging does at the level of action. By contrast, philosophers have focused extensively on normative issues regarding what epistemic position is required for proper assertion, yet they have almost exclusively considered unqualified declaratives. This essay considers the linguistic and normative issues side-by-side. We aim to bring some order and clarity (...)
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  43. Assertion and the Future.Corine Besson & Anandi Hattiangadi - 2020 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 481-504.
    It is disputed what norm, if any, governs assertion. We address this question by looking at assertions of future contingents: statements about the future that are neither metaphysically necessary nor metaphysically impossible. Many philosophers think that future contingents are not truth apt, which together with a Truth Norm or a Knowledge Norm of assertion implies that assertions of these future contingents are systematically infelicitous. In this article, we argue that our practice of asserting future contingents is incompatible with the view (...)
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  44. Assertion: A Defective Theoretical Category.Herman Cappelen - 2020 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  45. On the Nature of Presupposition: A Normative Speech Act Account.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (2):269-293.
    In this paper I provide a new account of linguistic presuppositions, on which they are ancillary speech acts defined by constitutive norms. After providing an initial intuitive characterization of the phenomenon, I present a normative speech act account of presupposition in parallel with Williamson’s analogous account of assertion. I explain how it deals well with the problem of informative presuppositions, and how it relates to accounts for the Triggering and Projection Problems for presuppositions. I conclude with a brief discussion of (...)
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  46. Truth‐Sensitivity and Folk Epistemology.Mikkel Gerken - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):3-25.
    Several studies have found a robust effect of truth on epistemic evaluation of belief, decision, action and assertion. Thus, truth has a significant effect on normative participant evaluations. Some theorists take this truth effect to motivate factive epistemic norms of belief, action, assertion etc. In contrast, I argue that the truth effect is best understood as an epistemic instance of the familiar and ubiquitous phenomenon of outcome bias. I support this diagnosis from three interrelating perspectives: (1) by epistemological theorizing, (2) (...)
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  47. Epistemic Norms of Assertion and Action.Mikkel Gerken & Esben Nedenskov Petersen - 2020 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The purpose of the present chapter is to survey the work on epistemic norms of action, practical deliberation and assertion and to consider how these norms are interrelated. On a more constructive note, we will argue that if there are important similarities between the epistemic norms of action and assertion, it has important ramifications for the debates over speech acts and harm. Thus, we hope that the chapter will indicate how thinking about assertions as a speech act can benefit from (...)
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  48. The Function of Assertion and Social Norms.Peter Graham - 2020 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 727-748.
    A proper function of an entity is a beneficial effect that helps explain the persistence of the entity. Proper functions thereby arise through feedback mechanisms with beneficial effects as inputs and persistence as outputs. We continue to make assertions because they benefit speakers by benefiting speakers. Hearers benefit from true information. Speakers benefit by influencing hearer belief. If hearers do not benefit, they will not form beliefs in response to assertions. Speakers can then only maintain influence by providing true information, (...)
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  49. Critical Review of Richard Moran, The Exchange of Words. [REVIEW]Peter Graham - 2020 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2.
    Moran's book is sure to be widely read. It does more to bring to light the moral psychology characteristic of tellings understood as assurances than any other work I know. His book raises challenges for other views, introduces interesting and evocative distinctions, and puts together in one place Moran's sustained reflections on the way we provide others a distinctive kind of reason for belief though normatively binding ourselves though the exchange of words. I agree that assurances and acceptances in Moran's (...)
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  50. Assertions, Handicaps, and Social Norms.Peter J. Graham - 2020 - Episteme 8:1-15.
    How should we undertand the role of norms—especially epistemic norms—governing assertive speech acts? Mitchell Green (2009) has argued that these norms play the role of handicaps in the technical sense from the animal signals literature. As handicaps, they then play a large role in explaining the reliability—and so the stability (the continued prevalence)—of assertive speech acts. But though norms of assertion conceived of as social norms do indeed play this stabilizing role, these norms are best understood as deterrents and not (...)
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