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  1. Surprising Suspensions: The Epistemic Value of Being Ignorant.Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2021 - Dissertation, Rutgers University - New Brunswick
    Knowledge is good, ignorance is bad. So it seems, anyway. But in this dissertation, I argue that some ignorance is epistemically valuable. Sometimes, we should suspend judgment even though by believing we would achieve knowledge. In this apology for ignorance (ignorance, that is, of a certain kind), I defend the following four theses: 1) Sometimes, we should continue inquiry in ignorance, even though we are in a position to know the answer, in order to achieve more than mere knowledge (e.g. (...)
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  • Hedging and the ignorance norm on inquiry.Yasha Sapir & Peter van Elswyk - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):5837-5859.
    What sort of epistemic positions are compatible with inquiries driven by interrogative attitudes like wonder and puzzlement? The ignorance norm provides a partial answer: interrogative attitudes directed at a particular question are never compatible with knowledge of the question’s answer. But some are tempted to think that interrogative attitudes are incompatible with weaker positions like belief as well. This paper defends that the ignorance norm is exhaustive. All epistemic positions weaker than knowledge directed at the answer to a question are (...)
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  • Questioning and addressee knowledge.Eliran Haziza - 2023 - Synthese 201 (4):1-23.
    There are norms for asking questions. Inquirers should not ask questions to which they know the answer. The literature on the norms of asking has focused on such speaker-centered norms. But, as I argue, there are addressee-centered norms as well: inquirers should not ask addressees who fall short of a certain epistemic status. That epistemic status, I argue here, is knowledge.
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  • A Note on Existentially Known Assertions.Ivan Milić - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (261):813-821.
    An assertion is existentially known if and only if: (i) the speaker knows that the sentence she uses to make the assertion expresses a true proposition; (ii) she makes the assertion based on that knowledge; and (iii) she does not believe, have justification for, or know the proposition asserted. Accordingly, if existentially known assertions could be made correctly—as argued by Charlie Pelling in his ‘Assertion and the Provision of Knowledge’—this would show that the norm of assertion cannot be the speaker's (...)
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  • Assertion.Peter Pagin & Neri Marsili - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Asserting is the act of claiming that something is the case—for instance, that oranges are citruses, or that there is a traffic congestion on Brooklyn Bridge (at some time). We make assertions to share information, coordinate our actions, defend arguments, and communicate our beliefs and desires. Because of its central role in communication, assertion has been investigated in several disciplines. Linguists, philosophers of language, and logicians rely heavily on the notion of assertion in theorizing about meaning, truth and inference. -/- (...)
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  • On proper presupposition.Julia Zakkou - 2023 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 108 (2):338-359.
    This paper investigates the norm of presupposition, as one pervasive type of indirect speech act. It argues against the view that sees presuppositions as an indirect counterpart of the direct speech act of assertion and proposes instead that they are much more similar to the direct speech act of assumption. More concretely, it suggests that the norm that governs presuppositions is not an epistemic or doxastic attitude such as knowledge, justified belief, or mere belief; it's a practical attitude, most plausibly (...)
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  • P, but you don’t know that P.Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):14667-14690.
    Unlike first-person Moorean sentences, it’s not always awkward to assert, “p, but you don’t know that p.” This can seem puzzling: after all, one can never get one’s audience to know the asserted content by speaking thus. Nevertheless, such assertions can be conversationally useful, for instance, by helping speaker and addressee agree on where to disagree. I will argue that such assertions also make trouble for the growing family of views about the norm of assertion that what licenses proper assertion (...)
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  • Moore's Paradox in Thought: A Critical Survey.John N. Williams - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (1):24-37.
    It is raining but you don’t believe that it is raining. Imagine silently accepting this claim. Then you believe both that it is raining and that you don’t believe that it is raining. This would be an ‘absurd’ thing to believe,yet what you believe might be true. Itmight be raining, while at the same time, you are completely ignorant of the state of the weather. But how can it be absurd of you to believe something about yourself that might be (...)
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  • Moore’s Paradox in Speech: A Critical Survey.John N. Williams - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (1):10-23.
    It is raining but you don’t believe that it is raining. Imagine accepting this claim. Then you are committed to saying ‘It is raining but I don’t believe that it is raining’. This would be an ‘absurd’ thing to claim or assert, yet what you say might be true. It might be raining, while at the same time, you are completely ignorant of the state of the weather. But how can it be absurd of you to assert something about yourself (...)
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  • Being in a Position to Know is the Norm of Assertion.Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (2):328-352.
    This paper defends a new norm of assertion: Assert that p only if you are in a position to know that p. We test the norm by judging its performance in explaining three phenomena that appear jointly inexplicable at first: Moorean paradoxes, lottery propositions, and selfless assertions. The norm succeeds by tethering unassertability to unknowability while untethering belief from assertion. The PtK‐norm foregrounds the public nature of assertion as a practice that can be other‐regarding, allowing asserters to act in the (...)
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  • Assertion and Its Many Norms.John N. Williams - 2017 - Manuscrito 40 (4):39-76.
    ABSTRACT Timothy Williamson offers the ordinary practice, the lottery and the Moorean argument for the ‘knowledge account’ that assertion is the only speech-act that is governed by the single rule that one must know its content. I show that these fail to support it and that the emptiness of the knowledge account renders mysterious why breaking the knowledge rule should be a source of criticism. I argue that focussing exclusively on the sincerity of the speech-act of letting one know engenders (...)
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  • Certainty and Assertion.Jacques-Henri Vollet - 2022 - Dialectica 999 (1).
    It is widely held that assertions are partially governed by an epistemic norm. But what is the epistemic condition set out in the norm? Is it knowledge, truth, belief, or something else? In this paper, I defend a view similar to that of Stanley (2008), according to which the relevant epistemic condition is epistemic certainty, where epistemic certainty (but not knowledge) is context-sensitive. I start by distinguishing epistemic certainty, subjective certainty, and knowledge. Then, I explain why it's much more plausible (...)
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  • Assertion remains strong.Peter van Elswyk & Matthew A. Benton - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (1):27-50.
    Assertion is widely regarded as an act associated with an epistemic position. To assert is to represent oneself as occupying this position and/or to be required to occupy this position. Within this approach, the most common view is that assertion is strong: the associated position is knowledge or certainty. But recent challenges to this common view present new data that are argued to be better explained by assertion being weak. Old data widely taken to support assertion being strong has also (...)
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  • Understanding and the Norm of Explanation.John Turri - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (4):1171-1175.
    I propose and defend the hypothesis that understanding is the norm of explanation. On this proposal, an explanation should express understanding. I call this the understanding account of explanation. The understanding account is supported by social and introspective observations. It is also supported by the relationship between knowledge and understanding, on the one hand, and assertion and explanation, on the other.
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  • The test of truth: An experimental investigation of the norm of assertion.John Turri - 2013 - Cognition 129 (2):279-291.
    Assertion is fundamental to our lives as social and cognitive beings. Philosophers have recently built an impressive case that the norm of assertion is factive. That is, you should make an assertion only if it is true. Thus far the case for a factive norm of assertion been based on observational data. This paper adds experimental evidence in favor of a factive norm from six studies. In these studies, an assertion’s truth value dramatically affects whether people think it should be (...)
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  • Promises to Keep: Speech Acts and the Value of Reflective Knowledge.John Turri - 2011 - Logos and Episteme 2 (4):583-590.
    This paper offers a new account of reflective knowledge’s value, building on recent work on the epistemic norms of speech acts. Reflective knowledge is valuable because it licenses us to make guarantees and promises.
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  • Knowledge and suberogatory assertion.John Turri - 2013 - Philosophical Studies (3):1-11.
    I accomplish two things in this paper. First I expose some important limitations of the contemporary literature on the norms of assertion and in the process illuminate a host of new directions and forms that an account of assertional norms might take. Second I leverage those insights to suggest a new account of the relationship between knowledge and assertion, which arguably outperforms the standard knowledge account.
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  • Knowledge and suberogatory assertion.John Turri - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):557-567.
    I accomplish two things in this paper. First I expose some important limitations of the contemporary literature on the norms of assertion and in the process illuminate a host of new directions and forms that an account of assertional norms might take. Second I leverage those insights to suggest a new account of the relationship between knowledge and assertion, which arguably outperforms the standard knowledge account.
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  • Knowledge Guaranteed.John Turri - 2011 - Noûs 47 (3):602-612.
    What is the relationship between saying ‘I know that Q’ and guaranteeing that Q? John Austin, Roderick Chisholm and Wilfrid Sellars all agreed that there is some important connection, but disagreed over what exactly it was. In this paper I discuss each of their accounts and present a new one of my own. Drawing on speech-act theory and recent research on the epistemic norms of speech acts, I suggest that the relationship is this: by saying ‘I know that Q’, you (...)
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  • Two accounts of assertion.Martin Smith - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-18.
    In this paper I will compare two competing accounts of assertion: the knowledge account and the justified belief account. When it comes to the evidence that is typically used to assess accounts of assertion – including the evidence from lottery propositions, the evidence from Moore’s paradoxical propositions and the evidence from conversational patterns – I will argue that the justified belief account has at least as much explanatory power as its rival. I will argue, finally, that a close look at (...)
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  • The epistemic normativity of conjecture.Mona Simion - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (11):3447-3471.
    This paper has two aims: it develops and defends a fully-fledged account of the epistemic normativity of conjecture it goes sharply against orthodoxy, in arguing that conjecture is epistemically more demanding than assertion. According to the view defended here, one’s conjecture that p is permissible only if one knows that one has warrant, but not sufficient warrant to believe that p. I argue for my account on three independent grounds: the Bach and Harnish account of the nature of communicative speech (...)
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  • Assertibility and Sensitivity.Geoff Pynn - 2014 - Acta Analytica 29 (1):99-117.
    Epistemologists have proposed various norms of assertion to explain when a speaker is in an epistemic position to assert a proposition. In this article I propose a distinct necessary condition on assertibility: that a speaker should assert only what she sensitively believes, where a subject's belief is sensitive just in case the subject would not hold it if it were false. I argue that the Sensitivity Rule underwrites simple explanations for three key features of assertibility that pose explanatory challenges to (...)
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  • Problems with Norms of Assertion.Peter Pagin - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):178-207.
    In this paper I draw attention to a number of problems that afflict norm accounts of assertion, i.e. accounts that explain what assertion is, and typically how speakers understand what assertion is, by appeal to a norm of assertion. I argue that the disagreements in the literature over norm selection undermines such an account of understanding. I also argue that the treatment of intuitions as evidence in the literature undermines much of the connection to empirical evidence. I further argue that (...)
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  • Belief, Degrees of Belief, and Assertion.Peter Milne - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (3):331-349.
    Starting from John MacFarlane's recent survey of answers to the question ‘What is assertion?’, I defend an account of assertion that draws on elements of MacFarlane's and Robert Brandom's commitment accounts, Timothy Williamson's knowledge norm account, and my own previous work on the normative status of logic. I defend the knowledge norm from recent attacks. Indicative conditionals, however, pose a problem when read along the lines of Ernest Adams' account, an account supported by much work in the psychology of reasoning. (...)
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  • Irksome assertions.Rachel McKinnon & John Turri - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):123-128.
    The Knowledge Account of Assertion (KAA) says that knowledge is the norm of assertion: you may assert a proposition only if you know that it’s true. The primary support for KAA is an explanatory inference from a broad range of linguistic data. The more data that KAA well explains, the stronger the case for it, and the more difficult it is for the competition to keep pace. In this paper we critically assess a purported new linguistic datum, which, it has (...)
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  • Assertion, Complexity, and Sincerity.Robin McKenna - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4):782-798.
    The target of this paper is the ‘simple’ knowledge account of assertion, according to which assertion is constituted by a single epistemic rule of the form ‘One must: assert p only if one knows p’. My aim is to argue that those who are attracted to a knowledge account of assertion should prefer what I call the ‘complex’ knowledge account, according to which assertion is constituted by a system of rules all of which are, taken together, constitutive of assertion. One (...)
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  • The norm of assertion: a ‘constitutive’ rule?Neri Marsili - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-22.
    According to an influential hypothesis, the speech act of assertion is subject to a single 'constitutive' rule, that takes the form: "One must: assert that p only if p has C". Scholars working on assertion interpret the assumption that this rule is 'constitutive' in different ways. This disagreement, often unacknowledged, threatens the foundations of the philosophical debate on assertion. This paper reviews different interpretations of the claim that assertion is governed by a constitutive rule. It argues that once we understand (...)
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  • 'Belief' and Belief.Eric Marcus - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    Our interest in understanding belief stems partly from our being creatures who think. However, the term ‘belief’ is used to refer to many states: from the fully conscious rational state that partly constitutes knowledge to the fanciful states of alarm clocks. Which of the many ‘belief’ states must a theory of belief be answerable to? This is the scope question. I begin my answer with a reply to a recent argument that belief is invariably weak, i.e., that the evidential standards (...)
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  • Assertion is weak.Matthew Mandelkern & Kevin Dorst - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22.
    Recent work has argued that belief is weak: the level of rational credence required for belief is relatively low. That literature has contrasted belief with assertion, arguing that the latter requires an epistemic state much stronger than (weak) belief---perhaps knowledge or even certainty. We argue that this is wrong: assertion is just as weak as belief. We first present a variety of new arguments for this, and then show that the standard arguments for stronger norms are not convincing. Finally, we (...)
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  • The norm of assertion: Empirical data.Markus Kneer - 2018 - Cognition 177 (C):165-171.
    Assertions are speech acts by means of which we express beliefs. As such they are at the heart of our linguistic and social practices. Recent research has focused extensively on the question whether the speech act of assertion is governed by norms, and if so, under what conditions it is acceptable to make an assertion. Standard theories propose, for instance, that one should only assert that p if one knows that p (the knowledge account), or that one should only assert (...)
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  • Moral Assertion.Christoph Kelp - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3-4):639-649.
    In this paper, I introduce a puzzle about moral assertion and defend a solution that centrally features the claim that the normativity of moral assertion centrally features moral understanding.
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  • In Defense of the Rational Credibility Account: A Reply to Casalegno.Christoph Kelp Igor Douven - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (2):289-297.
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  • Lying and knowing.Ben Holguín - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5351-5371.
    This paper defends the simple view that in asserting that p, one lies iff one knows that p is false. Along the way it draws some morals about deception, knowledge, Gettier cases, belief, assertion, and the relationship between first- and higher-order norms.
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  • Assertion and the “How do you know?” challenge.Eliran Haziza - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-17.
    One of the central arguments for the knowledge norm of assertion appeals to the fact that it is typically legitimate to respond to an assertion with “How do you know?”, intended as a challenge to the assertion. The legitimacy of the challenge is taken as evidence in favor of the idea that permissible assertion requires knowledge. In this paper, I argue that if the legitimacy of “How do you know?” challenges supports a knowledge norm for assertion, it also supports the (...)
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  • Assertion, Implicature, and Iterated Knowledge.Eliran Haziza - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8.
    The present paper argues that there is a knowledge norm for conversational implicature: one may conversationally implicate p only if one knows p. Linguistic data about the cancellation behavior of implicatures and the ways they are challenged and criticized by speakers is presented to support the thesis. The knowledge norm for implicature is then used to present a new consideration in favor of the KK thesis. It is argued that if implicature and assertion have knowledge norms, then assertion requires not (...)
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  • Anonymous assertions.Sanford C. Goldberg - 2013 - Episteme 10 (2):135-151.
    This paper addresses how the anonymity of an assertion affects the epistemological dimension of its production by speakers, and its reception by hearers. After arguing that anonymity does have implications in both respects, I go on to argue that at least some of these implications derive from a warranted diminishment in speakers' and hearers' expectations of one another when there are few mechanisms for enforcing the responsibilities attendant to speech. As a result, I argue, anonymous assertions do not carry the (...)
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  • Norms of Speech Acts.Grzegorz Gaszczyk - 2022 - Studia Semiotyczne 36 (11):45-56.
    This paper offers a systematic classification and characterization of speech acts and their norms. Recently, the normative approach has been applied to various speech acts, most notably to constatives. I start by showing how the work on the norms of assertion has influenced various approaches to the norms of other speech acts. I focus on the fact that various norms of assertion have different extensions, i.e., they denote different clusters of illocutions as belonging to an assertion. I argue that this (...)
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  • Doubting Assertion.Marianna Bergamaschi Ganapini - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (3):1-13.
    One main argument that has been offered in support of the Knowledge Account of Assertion is that it successfully makes sense of a variety of Moorean-paradoxical claims. David Sosa has objected to the Knowledge Account by arguing that it does not generalize satisfactorily to make sense of the oddity of iterated conjunctions of the form “p but I don’t know whether I know that p”. Recently, Martin Montminy has offered a defense of the Knowledge Account. In this paper, I show (...)
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  • In Defense of the Rational Credibility Account: A Reply to Casalegno.Igor Douven & Christoph Kelp - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (2):289-297.
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  • Can the Knowledge Norm Co‐Opt the Opt Out?Kevin Dorst - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (4):273-282.
    The Knowledge Norm of Assertion claims that it is proper to assert that p only if one knows that p. Though supported by a wide range of evidence, it appears to generate incorrect verdicts when applied to utterances of “I don't know.” Instead of being an objection to KNA, I argue that this linguistic data shows that “I don't know” does not standardly function as a literal assertion about one's epistemic status; rather, it is an indirect speech act that has (...)
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  • Strong Belief is Ordinary.Roger Clarke - forthcoming - Episteme:1-21.
    In an influential recent paper, Hawthorne, Rothschild, and Spectre (“HRS”) argue that belief is weak. More precisely: they argue that the referent of believe in ordinary language is much weaker than epistemologists usually suppose; that one needs very little evidence to be entitled to believe a proposition in this sense; and that the referent of believe in ordinary language just is the ordinary concept of belief. I argue here to the contrary. HRS identify two alleged tests of weakness – the (...)
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  • Telling, showing and knowing: A unified theory of pedagogical norms.Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri - 2014 - Analysis 74 (1):16-20.
    Pedagogy is a pillar of human culture and society. Telling each other information and showing each other how to do things comes naturally to us. A strong case has been made that declarative knowledge is the norm of assertion, which is our primary way of telling others information. This article presents an analogous case for the hypothesis that procedural knowledge is the norm of instructional demonstration, which is a primary way of showing others how to do things. Knowledge is the (...)
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  • Knowledge from Knowledge.Rodrigo Borges - 2020 - American Philosophical Quarterly 57 (3):283 - 297.
    This paper argues that a necessary condition on inferential knowledge is that one knows all the propositions that knowledge depends on. That is, I will argue in support of a principle I call the Knowledge from Knowledge principle: (KFK) S knows that p via inference or reasoning only if S knows all the propositions on which p depends. KFK meshes well with the natural idea that (at least with respect to deductively valid or induc- tively strong arguments) the epistemic status (...)
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  • How to Moore a Gettier: Notes on the Dark Side of Knowledge.Rodrigo Borges - 2014 - Logos and Episteme 5 (2):133-140.
    The Gettier Problem and Moore’s Paradox are related in a way that is unappreciated by philosophers. If one is in a Gettier situation, then one is also in a Moorean situation. The fact that S is in a Gettier situation (the fact that S is “Gettiered”), like the fact that S is in a Moorean situation (the fact that S is “Moored”), cannot (in the logical sense of “cannot”) be known by S while S is in that situation. The paper (...)
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  • E=K and The Gettier Problem: A Reply to Comesaña and Kantin.Rodrigo Borges - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (5):1031-1041.
    A direct implication of E=K seems to be that false beliefs cannot justify other beliefs, for no false belief can be part of one’s total evidence and one’s total evidence is what inferentially justifies belief. The problem with this alleged implication of E=K, as Comesaña and Kantin :447–454, 2010) have noted, is that it contradicts a claim Gettier cases rely on. The original Gettier cases relied on two principles: that justification is closed under known entailment, and that sometimes one is (...)
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  • Reinforcing the knowledge account of assertion.Martijn Blaauw - 2012 - Analysis 72 (1):105-108.
    Many philosophers are building a solid case in favour of the knowledge account of assertion (KAA). According to KAA, if one asserts that P one represents oneself as knowing that P. KAA has recently received support from linguistic data about prompting challenges, parenthetical positioning and predictions. In this article, I add another argument to this rapidly growing list: an argument from what I will call ‘reinforcing parenthesis’.
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  • A non‐normative account of assertion.Dylan Black - 2018 - Ratio 32:53-62.
    Many contemporary philosophers argue that assertion is governed by an epistemic norm. In particular, many defend the knowledge account of assertion, which says that one should assert only what one knows. Here, I defend a non‐normative alternative to the knowledge account that I call the repK account of assertion. According to the repK account, assertion represents knowledge, but it is not governed by a constitutive epistemic rule. I show that the repK account offers a more straightforward interpretation of the conversational (...)
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  • Knowledge, Hope, and Fallibilism.Matthew A. Benton - 2021 - Synthese 198:1673-1689.
    Hope, in its propositional construction "I hope that p," is compatible with a stated chance for the speaker that not-p. On fallibilist construals of knowledge, knowledge is compatible with a chance of being wrong, such that one can know that p even though there is an epistemic chance for one that not-p. But self-ascriptions of propositional hope that p seem to be incompatible, in some sense, with self-ascriptions of knowing whether p. Data from conjoining hope self-ascription with outright assertions, with (...)
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  • Knowledge and Evidence You Should Have Had.Matthew A. Benton - 2016 - Episteme 13 (4):471-479.
    Epistemologists focus primarily on cases of knowledge, belief, or credence where the evidence which one possesses, or on which one is relying, plays a fundamental role in the epistemic or normative status of one's doxastic state. Recent work in epistemology goes beyond the evidence one possesses to consider the relevance for such statuses of evidence which one does not possess, particularly when there is a sense in which one should have had some evidence. I focus here on Sanford Goldberg's approach (...)
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  • Iffy predictions and proper expectations.Matthew A. Benton & John Turri - 2014 - Synthese 191 (8):1857-1866.
    What individuates the speech act of prediction? The standard view is that prediction is individuated by the fact that it is the unique speech act that requires future-directed content. We argue against this view and two successor views. We then lay out several other potential strategies for individuating prediction, including the sort of view we favor. We suggest that prediction is individuated normatively and has a special connection to the epistemic standards of expectation. In the process, we advocate some constraints (...)
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