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Truth and assertion: rules vs aims

Analysis 78 (4):638–648 (2018)

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  1. Degrees of Assertability.Sam Carter - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Lying: Knowledge or Belief?Neri Marsili - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    A new definition of lying is gaining traction, according to which you lie only if you say what you know to be false. Drawing inspiration from “New Evil Demon” scenarios, I present a battery of counterexamples against this “Knowledge Account” of lying. Along the way, I comment upon the methodology of conceptual analysis, the moral implications of the Knowledge Account, and its ties with knowledge-first epistemology.
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  • Should I Say That? An Experimental Investigation of the Norm of Assertion.Neri Marsili & Alex Wiegmann - 2021 - Cognition 212:104657.
    Assertions are our standard communicative tool for sharing and acquiring information. Recent empirical studies seemingly provide converging evidence that assertions are subject to a factive norm: you are entitled to assert a proposition p only if p is true. All these studies, however, assume that we can treat participants' judgments about what an agent 'should say' as evidence of their intuitions about assertability. This paper argues that this assumption is incorrect, so that the conclusions drawn in these studies are unwarranted. (...)
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  • Retweeting: Its Linguistic and Epistemic Value.Neri Marsili - 2021 - Synthese 198:10457–10483.
    This paper analyses the communicative and epistemic value of retweeting (and more generally of reposting content on social media). Against a naïve view, it argues that retweets are not acts of endorsement, motivating this diagnosis with linguistic data. Retweeting is instead modelled as a peculiar form of quotation, in which the reported content is indicated rather than reproduced. A relevance-theoretic account of the communicative import of retweeting is then developed, to spell out the complex mechanisms by which retweets achieve their (...)
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  • P, but You Don't Know That P.Christopher Willard-Kyle - forthcoming - Synthese.
    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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  • 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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  • Assertion is Weak.Matthew Mandelkern & Kevin Dorst - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    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 claim, and then show that the standard arguments for stronger norms are not convincing. Finally, (...)
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  • Lying, Speech Acts, and Commitment.Neri Marsili - forthcoming - Synthese:1-25.
    Not every speech act can be a lie. A good definition of lying should be able to draw the right distinctions between speech acts (like promises, assertions, and oaths) that can be lies and speech acts (like commands, suggestions, or assumptions) that under no circumstances are lies. This paper shows that no extant account of lying is able to draw the required distinctions. It argues that a definition of lying based on the notion of ‘assertoric commitment’ can succeed where other (...)
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  • 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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  • Assertion and its Social Significance: An Introduction.Bianca Cepollaro, Paolo Labinaz & Neri Marsili - 2019 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio 13 (1):1-18.
    This paper offers a brief survey of the philosophical literature on assertion, presenting each contribution to the RIFL special issue "Assertion and its social significance" within the context of the contemporary debate in which it intervenes. The discussion is organised into three thematic sections. The first one concerns the nature of assertion and its relation with assertoric commitment – the distinctive responsibility that the speaker undertakes in virtue of making a statement. The second section considers the epistemic significance of assertion, (...)
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