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  1. Truth, Fallibility, and Justification: New Studies in the Norms of Assertion.John Turri - 2020 - Synthese (9):1-12.
    This paper advances our understanding of the norms of assertion in two ways. First, I evaluate recent studies claiming to discredit an important earlier finding which supports the hypothesis that assertion has a factive norm. In particular, I evaluate whether it was due to stimuli mentioning that a speaker’s evidence was fallible. Second, I evaluate the hypothesis that assertion has a truth-insensitive standard of justification. In particular, I evaluate the claim that switching an assertion from true to false, while holding (...)
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  • Factive Verbs and Protagonist Projection.Wesley Buckwalter - 2014 - Episteme 11 (4):391-409.
    Nearly all philosophers agree that only true things can be known. But does this principle reflect actual patterns of ordinary usage? Several examples in ordinary language seem to show that ‘know’ is literally used non-factively. By contrast, this paper reports five experiments utilizing explicit paraphrasing tasks, which suggest that non-factive uses are actually not literal. Instead, they are better explained by a phenomenon known as protagonist projection. It is argued that armchair philosophical orthodoxy regarding the truth requirement for knowledge withstands (...)
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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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  • You Don't Say! Lying, Asserting and Insincerity.Neri Marsili - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Sheffield
    This thesis addresses philosophical problems concerning improper assertions. The first part considers the issue of defining lying: here, against a standard view, I argue that a lie need not intend to deceive the hearer. I define lying as an insincere assertion, and then resort to speech act theory to develop a detailed account of what an assertion is, and what can make it insincere. Even a sincere assertion, however, can be improper (e.g., it can be false, or unwarranted): in the (...)
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  • Knowledge, Adequacy, and Approximate Truth.Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri - 2020 - Consciousness and Cognition 83:102950.
    Approximation involves representing things in ways that might be close to the truth but are nevertheless false. Given the widespread reliance on approximations in science and everyday life, here we ask whether it is conceptually possible for false approximations to qualify as knowledge. According to the factivity account, it is impossible to know false approximations, because knowledge requires truth. According to the representational adequacy account, it is possible to know false approximations, if they are close enough to the truth for (...)
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  • A Case for a Certainty Norm of Assertion.Esben Petersen - 2019 - Synthese 196 (11):4691-4710.
    According to the widely endorsed Knowledge Account of Assertion, the epistemic requirements on assertion are captured by the Knowledge Norm of Assertion, which requires speakers only to assert what they know. This paper proposes that in addition to the Knowledge Norm there is also an Epistemic Propositional Certainty Norm of Assertion, which enjoins speakers only to assert p if they believe that p on the basis of evidence which makes p an epistemic propositional certainty. The paper explains how this propositional (...)
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  • The objectivity of truth, a core truism?Robert Barnard & Joseph Ulatowski - 2017 - Synthese 198 (2):717-733.
    A typical guiding principle of an account of truth is: “truth is objective,” or, to be clear, judging whether an assertion is true or false depends upon how things are in the world rather than how someone or some community believes it to be. Accordingly, whenever a claim is objectively true, its truth conditions ought not depend upon the context in which it is uttered or the utterer making the claim. Part of our ongoing empirical studies surveying people’s responses to (...)
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  • Epistemology Personalized.Matthew A. Benton - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (269):813-834.
    Recent epistemology has focused almost exclusively on propositional knowledge. This paper considers an underexplored area of epistemology, namely knowledge of persons: if propositional knowledge is a state of mind, consisting in a subject's attitude to a (true) proposition, the account developed here thinks of interpersonal knowledge as a state of minds, involving a subject's attitude to another (existing) subject. This kind of knowledge is distinct from propositional knowledge, but it exhibits a gradability characteristic of context-sensitivity, and admits of shifty thresholds. (...)
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  • Epistemic Injustice in Social Cognition.Wesley Buckwalter - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):294-308.
    ABSTRACTSilencing is a practice that disrupts linguistic and communicative acts, but its relationship to knowledge and justice is not fully understood. Prior models of epistemic injustice tend to c...
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  • Belief Through Thick and Thin.Wesley Buckwalter, David Rose & John Turri - 2015 - Noûs 49 (4):748-775.
    We distinguish between two categories of belief—thin belief and thick belief—and provide evidence that they approximate genuinely distinct categories within folk psychology. We use the distinction to make informative predictions about how laypeople view the relationship between knowledge and belief. More specifically, we show that if the distinction is genuine, then we can make sense of otherwise extremely puzzling recent experimental findings on the entailment thesis (i.e. the widely held philosophical thesis that knowledge entails belief). We also suggest that the (...)
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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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  • No Knowledge Required.Kevin Reuter & Peter Brössel - 2018 - Episteme 16 (3):303-321.
    Assertions are the centre of gravity in social epistemology. They are the vehicles we use to exchange information within scientific groups and society as a whole. It is therefore essential to determine under which conditions we are permitted to make an assertion. In this paper we argue and provide empirical evidence for the view that the norm of assertion is justified belief: truth or even knowledge are not required. Our results challenge the knowledge account advocated by, e.g. Williamson (1996), in (...)
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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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  • Gricean Quality.Matthew A. Benton - 2016 - Noûs 50 (4):689-703.
    Some philosophers oppose recent arguments for the Knowledge Norm of Assertion by claiming that assertion, being an act much like any other, will be subject to norms governing acts generally, such as those articulated by Grice for the purpose of successful, cooperative endeavours. But in fact, Grice is a traitor to their cause; or rather, they are his dissenters, not his disciples. Drawing on Grice's unpublished papers, I show that he thought of asserting as a special linguistic act in need (...)
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  • Philosophical Expertise and Philosophical Methodology.Hamid Seyedsayamdost - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (1-2):110-129.
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  • Can You Lie Without Intending to Deceive?Vladimir Krstić - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (2):642–660.
    This article defends the view that liars need not intend to deceive. I present common objections to this view in detail and then propose a case of a liar who can lie but who cannot deceive in any relevant sense. I then modify this case to get a situation in which this person lies intending to tell his hearer the truth and he does this by way of getting the hearer to recognize his intention to tell the truth by lying. (...)
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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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  • Excuse Validation: A Study in Rule-Breaking.John Turri & Peter Blouw - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):615-634.
    Can judging that an agent blamelessly broke a rule lead us to claim, paradoxically, that no rule was broken at all? Surprisingly, it can. Across seven experiments, we document and explain the phenomenon of excuse validation. We found when an agent blamelessly breaks a rule, it significantly distorts people’s description of the agent’s conduct. Roughly half of people deny that a rule was broken. The results suggest that people engage in excuse validation in order to avoid indirectly blaming others for (...)
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  • Recent Work on Assertion.Sanford C. Goldberg - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (4):365-380.
    This paper reviews recent philosophical work on assertion, with a special focus on work exploring the theme of assertion's norm. It concludes with a brief section characterizing several open questions that might profitably be explored from this perspective.
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  • Is Probabilistic Evidence a Source of Knowledge?Ori Friedman & John Turri - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (5):1062-1080.
    We report a series of experiments examining whether people ascribe knowledge for true beliefs based on probabilistic evidence. Participants were less likely to ascribe knowledge for beliefs based on probabilistic evidence than for beliefs based on perceptual evidence or testimony providing causal information. Denial of knowledge for beliefs based on probabilistic evidence did not arise because participants viewed such beliefs as unjustified, nor because such beliefs leave open the possibility of error. These findings rule out traditional philosophical accounts for why (...)
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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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  • Ability, Responsibility, and Global Justice.Wesley Buckwalter - 2017 - Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 34 (3):577-590.
    Many have argued we have a moral obligation to assist others in need, but given the scope of global suffering, how far does this obligation extend? According to one traditional philosophical view, the obligation to help others is limited by our ability to help them, or by the principle that “ought implies can”. This view is primarily defended on the grounds that it is a core principle of commonsense moral psychology. This paper reviews findings from experimental philosophy in cognitive science (...)
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  • Being Rational and Being Right, by Juan Comesaña.Mona Simion - forthcoming - Mind.
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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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  • Causal Superseding.Jonathan F. Kominsky, Jonathan Phillips, Tobias Gerstenberg, David Lagnado & Joshua Knobe - 2015 - Cognition 137:196-209.
    When agents violate norms, they are typically judged to be more of a cause of resulting outcomes. In this paper, we suggest that norm violations also affect the causality attributed to other agents, a phenomenon we refer to as "causal superseding." We propose and test a counterfactual reasoning model of this phenomenon in four experiments. Experiments 1 and 2 provide an initial demonstration of the causal superseding effect and distinguish it from previously studied effects. Experiment 3 shows that this causal (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy is Cognitive Science.Joshua Knobe - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell.
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  • Selfless Assertions: Some Empirical Evidence.John Turri - 2015 - Synthese 192 (4):1221-1233.
    It is increasingly recognized that knowledge is the norm of assertion. As this view has gained popularity, it has also garnered criticism. One widely discussed criticism involves thought experiments about “selfless assertion.” Selfless assertions are said to be intuitively compelling examples where agents should assert propositions that they don’t even believe and, hence, don’t know. This result is then taken to show that knowledge is not the norm of assertion. This paper reports four experiments demonstrating that “selfless assertors” are viewed (...)
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  • Moderate Scientism in Philosophy.Buckwalter Wesley & John Turri - forthcoming - In Jereon de Ridder, Rik Peels & René van Woudenberg (eds.), Scientism: Prospects and Problems. Oxford University Press.
    Moderate scientism is the view that empirical science can help answer questions in nonscientific disciplines. In this paper, we evaluate moderate scientism in philosophy. We review several ways that science has contributed to research in epistemology, action theory, ethics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind. We also review several ways that science has contributed to our understanding of how philosophers make judgments and decisions. Based on this research, we conclude that the case for moderate philosophical scientism is strong: scientific (...)
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  • Intuition Fail: Philosophical Activity and the Limits of Expertise.Wesley Buckwalter - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):378-410.
    Experimental philosophers have empirically challenged the connection between intuition and philosophical expertise. This paper reviews these challenges alongside other research findings in cognitive science on expert performance and argues for three claims. First, evidence taken to challenge philosophical expertise may also be explained by the well-researched failures and limitations of genuine expertise. Second, studying the failures and limitations of experts across many fields provides a promising research program upon which to base a new model of philosophical expertise. Third, a model (...)
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  • Knowledge and Assertion in Korean.John Turri & YeounJun Park - 2018 - Cognitive Science 42 (6):2060-2080.
    Evidence from life science, cognitive science, and philosophy supports the hypothesis that knowledge is a central norm of the human practice of assertion. However, to date, the experimental evidence supporting this hypothesis is limited to American anglophones. If the hypothesis is correct, then such findings will not be limited to one language or culture. Instead, we should find a strong connection between knowledge and assertability across human languages and cultures. To begin testing this prediction, we conducted three experiments on Koreans (...)
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  • Excuse Validation: A Cross‐Cultural Study.John Turri - 2019 - Cognitive Science 43 (8).
    If someone unintentionally breaks the rules, do they break the rules? In the abstract, the answer is obviously “yes.” But, surprisingly, when considering specific examples of unintentional, blameless rule-breaking, approximately half of people judge that no rule was broken. This effect, known as excuse validation, has previously been observed in American adults. Outstanding questions concern what causes excuse validation, and whether it is peculiar to American moral psychology or cross-culturally robust. The present paper studies the phenomenon cross-culturally, focusing on Korean (...)
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  • Revisiting Norms of Assertion.John Turri - 2018 - Cognition 177:8-11.
    A principal conclusion supported by convergent evidence from cognitive science, life science, and philosophy is that knowledge is a central norm of assertion—that is, according to the rules of the practice, assertions should express knowledge. That view has recently been challenged with new experiments. This paper identifies a critical confound in the experiments. In the process, a new study is reported that provides additional support for the view that knowledge is a central norm of assertion.
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  • The Norm of Assertion: Empirical Data.Markus Kneer - 2018 - Cognition 177:165-171.
    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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  • Knowledge and the Norm of Assertion: A Simple Test.John Turri - 2015 - Synthese 192 (2):385-392.
    An impressive case has been built for the hypothesis that knowledge is the norm of assertion, otherwise known as the knowledge account of assertion. According to the knowledge account, you should assert something only if you know that it’s true. A wealth of observational data supports the knowledge account, and some recent empirical results lend further, indirect support. But the knowledge account has not yet been tested directly. This paper fills that gap by reporting the results of such a test. (...)
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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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  • Vision, Knowledge, and Assertion.John Turri - 2016 - Consciousness and Cognition 41:41-49.
    I report two experiments studying the relationship among explicit judgments about what people see, know, and should assert. When an object of interest was surrounded by visibly similar items, it diminished people’s willingness to judge that an agent sees, knows, and should tell others that it is present. This supports the claim, made by many philosophers, that inhabiting a misleading environment intuitively decreases our willingness to attribute perception and knowledge. However, contrary to stronger claims made by some philosophers, inhabiting a (...)
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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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  • Compatibilism Can Be Natural.John Turri - 2017 - Consciousness and Cognition 51:68-81.
    Compatibilism is the view that moral responsibility is compatible with determinism. Natural compatibilism is the view that in ordinary social cognition, people are compatibilists. Researchers have recently debated whether natural compatibilism is true. This paper presents six experiments (N = 909) that advance this debate. The results provide the best evidence to date for natural compatibilism, avoiding the main methodological problems faced by previous work supporting the view. In response to simple scenarios about familiar activities, people judged that agents had (...)
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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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  • The Radicalism of Truth‐Insensitive Epistemology: Truth's Profound Effect on the Evaluation of Belief.John Turri - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):348-367.
    Many philosophers claim that interesting forms of epistemic evaluation are insensitive to truth in a very specific way. Suppose that two possible agents believe the same proposition based on the same evidence. Either both are justified or neither is; either both have good evidence for holding the belief or neither does. This does not change if, on this particular occasion, it turns out that only one of the two agents has a true belief. Epitomizing this line of thought are thought (...)
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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 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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  • Epistemic Situationism and Cognitive Ability.John Turri - 2017 - In Epistemic Situationism. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 158-167.
    Leading virtue epistemologists defend the view that knowledge must proceed from intellectual virtue and they understand virtues either as refned character traits cultivated by the agent over time through deliberate effort, or as reliable cognitive abilities. Philosophical situationists argue that results from empirical psychology should make us doubt that we have either sort of epistemic virtue, thereby discrediting virtue epistemology’s empirical adequacy. I evaluate this situationist challenge and outline a successor to virtue epistemology: abilism . Abilism delivers all the main (...)
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  • Descartes’s Schism, Locke’s Reunion: Completing the Pragmatic Turn in Epistemology.John Turri & Wesley Buckwalter - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (1):25-46.
    Centuries ago, Descartes and Locke initiated a foundational debate in epistemology over the relationship between knowledge, on the one hand, and practical factors, on the other. Descartes claimed that knowledge and practice are fundamentally separate. Locke claimed that knowledge and practice are fundamentally united. After a period of dormancy, their disagreement has reignited on the contemporary scene. Latter-day Lockeans claim that knowledge itself is essentially connected to, and perhaps even constituted by, practical factors such as how much is at stake, (...)
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  • Inability and Obligation in Moral Judgment.Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri - 2015 - PLoS ONE 10 (8).
    It is often thought that judgments about what we ought to do are limited by judgments about what we can do, or that “ought implies can.” We conducted eight experiments to test the link between a range of moral requirements and abilities in ordinary moral evaluations. Moral obligations were repeatedly attributed in tandem with inability, regardless of the type (Experiments 1–3), temporal duration (Experiment 5), or scope (Experiment 6) of inability. This pattern was consistently observed using a variety of moral (...)
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  • The Distinctive “Should” of Assertability.John Turri - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (4):481-489.
    Recent work has assumed that the normativity associated with assertion differs from the normativity of morality, practical rationality, etiquette, and legality. That is, whether an assertion “should” be made is not merely a function of these other familiar sorts of normativity and is especially connected to truth. Some researchers have challenged this assumption of distinctive normativity. In this paper I report two experiments that test the assumption. Participants read a brief story, judged whether an assertion should be made, and rated (...)
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  • Assertion and Assurance: Some Empirical Evidence.John Turri - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (1):214-222.
    I report three experiments relevant to evaluating Krista Lawlor's theory of assurance, respond to her criticism of the knowledge account of assertion, and propose an alternative theory of assurance.
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  • On the Nature of Indifferent Lies, a Reply to Rutschmann and Wiegmann.Vladimir Krstić - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (5):757-771.
    In their paper published in 2017 in Philosophical Psychology, Ronja Rutschmann and Alex Wiegmann introduce a novel kind of lies, the indifferent lies. According to them, these lies are not intended to deceive simply because the liars do not care whether their audience is going to believe them or not. It seems as if indifferent lies avoid the objections raised against other kinds of lies supposedly not intended to deceive. I argue that this is not correct. Indifferent lies, too, are (...)
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  • Truth‐Sensitivity and Folk Epistemology.Mikkel Gerken - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):3-25.
    Several studies have found a robust effect of truth on epistemic evaluation of belief, decision, action and assertion. Thus, truth has a significant effect on normative participant evaluations. Some theorists take this truth effect to motivate factive epistemic norms of belief, action, assertion etc. In contrast, I argue that the truth effect is best understood as an epistemic instance of the familiar and ubiquitous phenomenon of outcome bias. I support this diagnosis from three interrelating perspectives: (1) by epistemological theorizing, (2) (...)
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  • A New Argument Against Compatibilism.Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2013 - Analysis (1):ant095.
    If one’s solution to the free will problem is in terms of real causal powers of agents then one ought to be an incompatibilist. Some premises are contentious but the following new argument for incompatibilism is advanced: 1. If causal determinism is true, all events are necessitated2. If all events are necessitated, then there are no powers3. Free will consists in the exercise of an agent’s powersTherefore, if causal determinism is true, there is no free will; which is to say (...)
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