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Selfless assertions: some empirical evidence

Synthese 192 (4):1221-1233 (2014)

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  1. Should I Say That? An Experimental Investigation of the Norm of Assertion.Neri Marsili & Alex Wiegmann - manuscript
    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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  • 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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  • Knowledge, Certainty, and Assertion.John Turri - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (2):293-299.
    Researchers have debated whether knowledge or certainty is a better candidate for the norm of assertion. Should you make an assertion only if you know it's true? Or should you make an assertion only if you're certain it's true? If either knowledge or certainty is a better candidate, then this will likely have detectable behavioral consequences. I report an experiment that tests for relevant behavioral consequences. The results support the view that assertability is more closely linked to knowledge than to (...)
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  • Knowledge and Assertion in “Gettier” Cases.John Turri - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (5):759-775.
    Assertion is fundamental to our lives as social and cognitive beings. By asserting we share knowledge, coordinate behavior, and advance collective inquiry. Accordingly, assertion is of considerable interest to cognitive scientists, social scientists, and philosophers. This paper advances our understanding of the norm of assertion. Prior evidence suggests that knowledge is the norm of assertion, a view known as “the knowledge account.” In its strongest form, the knowledge account says that knowledge is both necessary and sufficient for assertability: you should (...)
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  • Evidence of Factive Norms of Belief and Decision.John Turri - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):4009-4030.
    According to factive accounts of the norm of belief and decision-making, you should not believe or base decisions on a falsehood. Even when the evidence misleadingly suggests that a false proposition is true, you should not believe it or base decisions on it. Critics claim that factive accounts are counterintuitive and badly mischaracterize our ordinary practice of evaluating beliefs and decisions. This paper reports four experiments that rigorously test the critic’s accusations and the viability of factive accounts. The results undermine (...)
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  • Knowledge Attributions and Behavioral Predictions.John Turri - 2017 - Cognitive Science:2253-2261.
    Recent work has shown that knowledge attributions affect how people think others should behave, more so than belief attributions do. This paper reports two experiments providing evidence that knowledge attributions also affect behavioral predictions more strongly than belief attributions do, and knowledge attributions facilitate faster behavioral predictions than belief attributions do. Thus, knowledge attributions play multiple critical roles in social cognition, guiding judgments about how people should and will behave.
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  • The Point of Assertion is to Transmit Knowledge.John Turri - 2016 - Analysis 76 (2):130-136.
    Recent work in philosophy and cognitive science shows that knowledge is the norm of our social practice of assertion, in the sense that an assertion should express knowledge. But why should an assertion express knowledge? I hypothesize that an assertion should express knowledge because the point of assertion is to transmit knowledge. I present evidence supporting this hypothesis.
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  • Criticism and Blame in Action and Assertion.Christoph Kelp & Mona Simion - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (2):76-93.
    In this paper, we develop a general normative framework for criticisability, blamelessness and blameworthiness in action. We then turn to the debate on norms of assertion. We show that an application of this framework enables champions of the so-called knowledge rule of assertion to offer a theoretically motivated response to a number of putative counterexamples in terms of blamelessness. Finally, we argue that, on closer inspection, the putative counterexamples serve to confirm the knowledge rule and disconfirm rival views.
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  • Opressões epistêmicas.Breno Ricardo Guimarães Santos - 2018 - In José Leonardo Annunziato Ruivo (ed.), Proceedings of the Brazilian Research Group in Epistemology. Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil: pp. 201-226.
    In this paper, I discuss some of the recent developments in the political turn of Social Epistemology, focusing on the notions of epistemic injustice and epistemic oppression. In the first part of the work, I introduce Kristie Dotson’s characterization of the epistemic injustices presented by Miranda Fricker, through the understanding of systematic ways of violating epistemic agency in terms of oppressions. In the second part, I discuss Dotson’s critique of Fricker on the grounds that there is an important kind of (...)
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  • Critique of Experimental Research on Selfless Assertions.Grzegorz Gaszczyk - 2019 - Diametros 16 (59):23-34.
    In this paper, I show that Turri’s (2015a) experimental study concerning selfless assertions is defective and should therefore be rejected. One performs a selfless assertion when one states something that one does not believe, and hence does not know, despite possessing well supported evidence to the contrary. Following his experimental study, Turri argues that agents in fact both believe and know the content of their selfless assertions. In response to this claim, I demonstrate that the conclusions he draws are premature (...)
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  • Knowledge and the Norm of Assertion: An Essay in Philosophical Science.John Turri - 2016 - Cambridge: Open Book Publishers.
    Language is a human universal reflecting our deeply social nature. Among its essential functions, language enables us to quickly and efficiently share information. We tell each other that many things are true—that is, we routinely make assertions. Information shared this way plays a critical role in the decisions and plans we make. In Knowledge and the Norm of Assertion, a distinguished philosopher and cognitive scientist investigates the rules or norms that structure our social practice of assertion. Combining evidence from philosophy, (...)
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  • Asserting as Commitment to Knowing. An Essay on the Normativity of Assertion.Ivan Milić - 2015 - Dissertation, University of Barcelona
    In this thesis, I propose and defend a theory according to which committing oneself to knowing the proposition expressed counts as an assertion of that proposition. A consequence of this view is the knowledge account of assertion, according to which one asserts that p correctly only if one knows that p. In support of this approach, I offer a strategy of identifying an assertion’s “normative consequences”, types of act that normally take place as a result of one’s making an assertion (...)
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