Edited by Matthew A. Benton (Seattle Pacific University)
|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 2005, Douven 2006, Lackey 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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