Accepting & Rejecting Questions: First Steps toward a Bilateralism for Erotetic Logic

In Moritz Cordes (ed.), Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. pp. 211–232 (2021)
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It’s commonly thought that, in conversation, speakers accept and reject propositions that have been asserted by others. Do speakers accept and reject questions as well? Intuitively, it seems that they do. But what does it mean to accept or reject a question? What is the relationship between these acts and those of asking and answering questions? Are there clear and distinct classes of reasons that speakers have for acceptance and rejection of questions? This chapter seeks to address these issues. Beyond their intrinsic interest to those working on the nature of questions, solutions to these problems may aid the extension of inferentialist approaches to logic and language. Inferentialists who think that inferences should be conceived in terms of the norms we are subject to in virtue of both the sentences we accept or assert as well as those we reject or deny are known as bilateralists. A coherent account of accepting and rejecting questions raises the prospects for a bilateralism that interprets question-involving or erotetic inferences according to these additional primitives. While a full-blown bilateralism for erotetic inferences and ultimately for question-forming operators themselves far exceeds this chapter’s scope, the work presented here does sketch the first steps in that direction.



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Jared A. Millson
Rhodes College

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The Knowledge Norm for Inquiry.Christopher Willard-Kyle - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.

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