Assertoric content, responsibility, and metasemantics

Mind and Language 37 (5):914-932 (2021)
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Abstract

I argue that assertoric content functions as a means for us to track the responsibilities undertaken by communicators, and that distinctively assertoric commitments are distinguished by being generated directly in virtue of the words the speaker uses. This raises two questions: (a) Why are speakers responsible for the content thus generated? (b) Why is it important for us to distinguish between commitments in terms of their manner of generation? I answer the first question by developing a novel responsibility based metasemantics. I answer the second by reference to the conflicting pressures governing the resources we have available for appraising speech.

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Andrew Peet
UmeƄ University

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