Where Ignorance Enjoins Silence

Peter Unger

in Ignorance

Published in print January 1978 | ISBN: 9780198244172
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191711473 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy

 Where Ignorance Enjoins Silence

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Argues that if someone asserts that something is so, this entails that he or she represents himself or herself as knowing that it is so. This hypothesis is supported by consideration of a modified version of Moore's Paradox, and by observation of conversational situations. A prima facie case is made for the claim that the hypothesis can be generalized for what J. L. Austin has called “illocutionary acts” (for instance, apologizing, commanding, questioning, etc.): whenever a subject performs such an act, it represents itself as knowing something.

Keywords: assertion; J. L. Austin; conversation; illocutionary acts; knowledge; Moore's Paradox

Chapter.  9268 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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