Putting the Norm of Assertion to Work: The Case of Testimony*

Sanford Goldberg

in Assertion

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199573004
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595127 | DOI:
Putting the Norm of Assertion to Work: The Case of Testimony*

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In this chapter argues that the norm of assertion can be used to give an account of two features of the testimonial exchange, pertaining to the epistemic entitlements and responsibilities of parties to such an exchange. Accounting for these features in terms of the norm of assertion has two selling points: in doing so we make do with claims we need anyway, independent of issues of testimony, and in this sense have an account that is simpler than its rivals; and we can be neutral with respect to the two topics standardly addressed in connection with the epistemology of testimony, and so have an account that is ideologically less costly than rival accounts (which are not neutral in this way). The chapter also argues that the rival accounts themselves face serious difficulties. It is thus time to put the norm of assertion to work.

Keywords: norm of assertion; testimony; testimonial exchange

Chapter.  11570 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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