Unreasonable Selflessness

Veritas – Revista de Filosofia da Pucrs 61 (3):492-502 (2016)
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According to Jennifer Lackey, one should assert that p only if it is reasonable for one to believe that p and if one asserted that p, one would assert that p at least in part because it is reasonable for one to believe that p. As data for this norm of assertion Lackey appeals to the intuition that in cases of ‘selfless assertion’ agents assert with epistemic propriety something they don’t believe. If that norm of assertion was true, then it would explain why selfless assertions are epistemically proper. In this paper we offer a reductio ad absurdum of this view. The result is that selfless assertions are not epistemically appropriate.

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Rodrigo Borges
University of Florida


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