Book

Assertion

Edited by Jessica Brown and Herman Cappelen

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199573004
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595127 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199573004.001.0001
Assertion

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This volume brings together new chapters on assertion by leading epistemologists and philosophers of language. The chapters are arranged into two sections. The chapters in the first section address the question of what an assertion is. MacFarlane surveys and evaluates the various possible theories, leaning towards a commitment view. Kölbel defends a view that combines a commitment approach with Stalnaker's ‘essential effect’ as a necessary condition. At the centre of Pagin's proposal is the notion of an utterance being made ‘prima facie because it is true’. Cappelen promotes a debunking view according to which the category of assertion is superfluous. Robert Stalnaker shows how de se content can be incorporated into his theory of assertion. The chapters in the second section focus on the idea that there is an epistemic norm of assertion. The contributions by Brown and Lackey question sufficiency: knowing that p puts one in a good enough epistemic position to assert that p. Kvanvig questions necessity: one is in a good enough epistemic position to assert that p only if one knows that p. Goldberg argues that if there is a necessary epistemic condition on appropriate assertion then this can explain certain prominent features of testimony. Greenough considers how a relativist should best specify the epistemic norms for assertion. Maitra questions Williamson's suggestion that the intimate connection between the notion of assertion and the epistemic norms governing it can be understood on analogy with the rules of a game.

Keywords: assertion; epistemic norms; testimony; epistemic condition; sufficiency

Book.  320 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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