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  1. Scott AnderBois (2012). Focus and Uninformativity in Yucatec Maya Questions. Natural Language Semantics 20 (4):349-390.
    Crosslinguistically, questions frequently make crucial use of morphosyntactic elements which also occur outside of questions. Chief among these are focus, disjunctions, and wh-words with indefinite semantics. This paper provides a compositional account of the semantics of wh-, alternative, and polar questions in Yucatec Maya (YM), which are composed primarily of these elements. Key to the account is a theory of disjunctions and indefinites (extending work by others) which recognizes the inherently inquisitive nature of these elements. While disjunctions and indefinites are (...)
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  2. Brian Ball (2014). Speech Acts: Natural or Normative Kinds? The Case of Assertion. Mind and Language 29 (3):336-350.
    There are two views of the essences of speech acts: according to one view, they are natural kinds; according to the other, they are what I call normative kinds—kinds in the (possibly non-reductive) definition of which some normative term occurs. In this article I show that speech acts can be normative but also natural kinds by deriving Williamson's account of assertion, on which it is an act individuated, and constitutively governed, by a norm (the knowledge rule), from a consideration of (...)
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  3. Stephen J. Barker (2010). Cognitive Expressivism, Faultless Disagreement, and Absolute but Non-Objective Truth. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (2pt2):183-199.
    I offer a new theory of faultless disagreement, according to which truth is absolute (non-relative) but can still be non-objective. What's relative is truth-aptness: a sentence like ‘Vegemite is tasty’ (V) can be truth-accessible and bivalent in one context but not in another. Within a context in which V fails to be bivalent, we can affirm that there is no issue of truth or falsity about V, still disputants, affirming and denying V, were not at fault, since, in their context (...)
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  4. Matthew A. Benton (2014). Expert Opinion and Second‐Hand Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (3).
    Expert testimony figures in recent debates over how best to understand the norm of assertion and the domain-specific epistemic expectations placed on testifiers. Cases of experts asserting with only isolated second-hand knowledge (Lackey 2011, 2013) have been used to shed light on whether knowledge is sufficient for epistemically permissible assertion. I argue that relying on such cases of expert testimony introduces several problems concerning how we understand expert knowledge, and the sharing of such knowledge through testimony. Refinements are needed to (...)
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  5. Matthew A. Benton (2014). Gricean Quality. Noûs 48 (4):n/a-n/a.
    Some philosophers oppose recent arguments for the Knowledge Account 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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  6. Matthew A. Benton (2013). Dubious Objections From Iterated Conjunctions. Philosophical Studies 162 (2):355-358.
    The knowledge account of assertion - roughly: one should not assert what one does not know - can explain a variety of Moorean conjunctions, a fact often cited as evidence in its favor. David Sosa ("Dubious Assertions," Phil Studies, 2009) has objected that the account does not generalize satisfactorily, since it cannot explain the infelicity of certain iterated conjunctions without appealing to the controversial "KK" principle. This essay responds by showing how the knowledge account can handle such conjunctions without use (...)
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  7. Matthew A. Benton (2012). Assertion, Knowledge and Predictions. Analysis 72 (1):102-105.
    John N. Williams (1994) and Matthew Weiner (2005) invoke predictions in order to undermine the normative relevance of knowledge for assertions; in particular, Weiner argues, predictions are important counterexamples to the Knowledge Account of Assertion (KAA). I argue here that they are not true counterexamples at all, a point that can be agreed upon even by those who reject KAA.
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  8. Matthew A. Benton (2011). Two More for the Knowledge Account of Assertion. Analysis 71 (4):684-687.
    The Knowledge Account of Assertion (KAA) has received added support recently from data on prompting assertion (Turri 2010) and from a refinement suggesting that assertions ought to express knowledge (Turri 2011). This paper adds another argument from parenthetical positioning, and then argues that KAA’s unified explanation of some of the earliest data (from Moorean conjunctions) adduced in its favor recommends KAA over its rivals.
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  9. Matthew A. Benton & John Turri (2014). Iffy Predictions and Proper Expectations. 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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  10. Anton Benz & Robert van Rooij (2007). Optimal Assertions, and What They Implicate. A Uniform Game Theoretic Approach. Topoi 26 (1):63-78.
    To determine what the speaker in a cooperative dialog meant with his assertion, on top of what he explicitly said, it is crucial that we assume that the assertion he gave was optimal. In determining optimal assertions we assume that dialogs are embedded in decision problems (van Rooij 2003) and use backwards induction for calculating them (Benz 2006). In this paper, we show that in terms of our framework we can account for several types of implicatures in a uniform way, (...)
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  11. Gunnar Björnsson, Comments on Lycan's ‘Conditional-Assertion Theories of Conditionals’. Philosophical Communications.
    The overall strategy of Lycan’s paper is to distinguish three kinds of conditional assertion theories, and then to show, in order, how they are variously afflicted by a set of problems. The three kinds of theory were the Quine-Rhinelander theory (or the Simple Illocutionary theory), The Semanticized Quine-Rhinelander, and the No Truth Value theory (or NTV). This strategy offers considerable clarity, but it comes at a cost, for what I take to be the best version of a conditional assertion theory (...)
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  12. Max Black (1952). Definition, Presupposition, and Assertion. Philosophical Review 61 (4):532-550.
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  13. Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.) (2011). Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
    Assertion is a fundamental feature of language. This volume will be the place to look for anyone interested in current work on the topic.
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  14. Ray Buchanan (2013). Reference, Understanding, and Communication. Australasian Journal of Philosophy (1):1-16.
    Brian Loar [1976] observed that, even in the simplest of cases, such as an utterance of (1): ‘He is a stockbroker’, a speaker's audience might misunderstand her utterance even if they correctly identify the referent of the relevant singular term, and understand what is being predicated of it. Numerous theorists, including Bezuidenhout [1997], Heck [1995], Paul [1999], and Récanati [1993, 1995], have used Loar's observation to argue against direct reference accounts of assertoric content and communication, maintaining that, even in these (...)
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  15. Herman Cappelen (2011). Against Assertion. In Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
    The view defended in this paper - I call it the No-Assertion view - rejects the assumption that it is theoretically useful to single out a subset of sayings as assertions: (v) Sayings are governed by variable norms, come with variable commitments and have variable causes and effects. What philosophers have tried to capture by the term 'assertion' is largely a philosophers' invention. It fails to pick out an act-type that we engage in and it is not a category we (...)
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  16. John W. Carroll (2005). Boundary in Context. Acta Analytica 20 (1):43-54.
    A contextualist account of modal assertions is sketched that makes their truth sensitive to the presuppositions of the conversation. Support for the account is mustered by considering its application to the context-sensitivity of assertions of subjunctive conditional sentences, explanation sentences, and knowledge sentences.
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  17. Igor Douven (2010). The Pragmatics of Belief. Journal of Pragmatics 42 (1):35-47.
    This paper argues that pragmatic considerations similar to the ones that Grice has shown pertain to assertability pertain to acceptability. It further shows how this should affect some widely held epistemic principles. The idea of a pragmatics of belief is defended against some seemingly obvious objections.
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  18. Antony Eagle (2007). Telling Tales. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt2):125 - 147.
    Utterances within the context of telling fictional tales that appear to be assertions are nevertheless not to be taken at face value. The present paper attempts to explain exactly what such 'pseudo-assertions' are, and how they behave. Many pseudo-assertions can take on multiple roles, both within fictions and in what I call 'participatory criticism' of a fiction, especially when they occur discourse-initially. This fact, taken together with problems for replacement accounts of pseudo-assertion based on the implicit prefixing of an 'in (...)
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  19. P. T. Geach (1965). Assertion. Philosophical Review 74 (4):449-465.
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  20. Stavroula Glezakos (2011). The Propositions We Assert. Acta Analytica 26 (2):165-173.
    According to Scott Soames, proper names have no descriptive meaning. Nonetheless, Soames maintains that proper names are typically used to make descriptive assertions. In this paper, I challenge Soames’ division between meaning and what is asserted, first by arguing that competent speakers always make descriptive assertions with name-containing sentences, and then by defending an account of proper name meaning that accommodates this fact.
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  21. Patrick Greenough (2011). Truth-Relativism, Norm-Relativism, and Assertion. In Brown J. & Cappelen H. (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
    The main goal in this paper is to outline and defend a form of Relativism, under which truth is absolute but assertibility is not. I dub such a view Norm-Relativism in contrast to the more familiar forms of Truth-Relativism. The key feature of this view is that just what norm of assertion, belief, and action is in play in some context is itself relative to a perspective. In slogan form: there is no fixed, single norm for assertion, belief, and action. (...)
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  22. Patrick Greenough (2001). Free Assumptions and the Liar Paradox. American Philosophical Quarterly 38 (2):115 - 135.
    A new solution to the liar paradox is developed using the insight that it is illegitimate to even suppose (let alone assert) that a liar sentence has a truth-status (true or not) on the grounds that supposing this sentence to be true/not-true essentially defeats the telos of supposition in a readily identifiable way. On that basis, the paradox is blocked by restricting the Rule of Assumptions in Gentzen-style presentations of the sequent-calculus. The lesson of the liar is that not all (...)
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  23. Dirk Greimann & Geo Siegwart (eds.) (2007). Truth and Speech Acts: Studies in the Philosophy of Language. Routledge.
    This innovative collection addresses such themes as: the relation between the concept of truth and the success conditions of assertions and kindred speech acts the linguistic devices of expressing the truth of a proposition the relation ...
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  24. John Hawthorne & Ofra Magidor (2011). Assertion and Epistemic Opacity. Mind 119 (476):1087-1105.
    In Hawthorne and Magidor 2009, we presented an argument against Stalnaker’s meta-semantic framework. In this paper we address two critical responses to our paper: Stalnaker 2009, and Almotahari and Glick 2010. Sections 1–4 are devoted to addressing Stalnaker’s response and sections 5–8 to addressing Almotahari and Glick’s. We pay special attention (Sect. 2) to an interesting argument that Stalnaker offers to bolster the transparency of presupposition (an argument that, if successful, could also form the basis of a defence of the (...)
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  25. Allan Hazlett, Truthfulness Without Truth.
    What is the relationship between the value of sincerity and the value of truth? You might assume that the value of sincerity and the value of truth (more exactly: true belief) are part of an evaluative package, such that they stand or fall together. In this spirit, Bernard Williams (2002) offers an account of the “virtues of truth,” which include sincerity and accuracy. My goal in this paper is to undermine the assumption that the value of sincerity is tied to (...)
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  26. Benjamin Hill (2008). Locke on Propositions and Assertion. Modern Schoolman 85 (3):187-205.
  27. Henry Jackman, Indeterminacy and Assertion.
    This paper will appeal a recent argument for the indeterminacy of translation to show not that meaning is indeterminate, but rather that assertion cannot be explained in terms of an independent grasp of the concept of truth. In particular, it will argue that if we try to explain assertion in terms of truth rather than vice versa, we ultimately will not be able to make sense of the difference between assertion and denial. This problem with such 'semantic' accounts of assertion (...)
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  28. Frank Jackson (1987). Conditionals. Blackwell.
  29. Frank Jackson (1979). On Assertion and Indicative Conditionals. Philosophical Review 88 (4):565-589.
    I defend the view that the truth conditions of the ordinary indicative conditional are those of the material conditional. This is done via a discussion of assertability and by appeal to conventional implicature rather than conversational implicature.
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  30. Tim Kenyon (2003). Cynical Assertion: Convention, Pragmatics, and Saying "Uncle&Quot;. American Philosophical Quarterly 40 (3):241 - 248.
    This paper begins by exploring a subspecies of assertion. Under some circumstances an utterance intuitively counts as an assertion, even though it is Cynical: that is, it is insincere, and made without the reasonable expectation of even appearing sincere to its audience. The paper explores the contextual and cognitive workings of Cynical assertion – directly, in part, but also by comparison with superficially similar but non-assertoric utterances, namely, those made under duress. Finally, the paper examines the broader relevance of Cynical (...)
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  31. M. Kissine (2009). Illocutionary Forces and What is Said. Mind and Language 24 (1):122-138.
    Abstract: A psychologically plausible analysis of the way we assign illocutionary forces to utterances is formulated using a 'contextualist' analysis of what is said. The account offered makes use of J. L. Austin's distinction between phatic acts (sentence meaning), locutionary acts (contextually determined what is said), illocutionary acts, and perolocutionary acts. In order to avoid the conflation between illocutionary and perlocutionary levels, assertive, directive and commissive illocutionary forces are defined in terms of inferential potential with respect to the common ground. (...)
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  32. Mikhail Kissine (2011). Misleading Appearances: Searle on Assertion and Meaning. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 74 (1):115-129.
    John Searle’s philosophy of language contains a notorious tension between a literalist view on the relationship between sentences and their meanings, and what—at the first glance—appears to be a virulent defence of contextualism. Appearances notwithstanding, Searle’s views on background and meaning are closer to literalism than to contextualism. Searle defines assertion in terms of the commitment to the truth of the propositional content. In absence of an independent criterion to delimit the asserted content, such a definition overgenerates—hence Searle’s commitment to (...)
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  33. Max Kölbel (2009). Literal Force : A Defence of Conventional Assertion. In Sarah Sawyer (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Language. Palgrave Macmillan.
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  34. Giorgio Lando (2011). Assertion and Affirmation in the Early Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein Studien 2 (1):21-47.
    The Tractatus rejects the sign of assertion as "logically meaningless", but the rejection of the sign did not lead Wittgenstein to reject the corresponding notion. I show the presence and the importance in the early Wittgenstein of a notion keenly similar to Fregean and Russellian logical assertion. I propose to call this notion "affirmation." The preparatory writings and the TLP present different theories about affirmation. The correct understanding of the nature and purpose of affirmation proves critical in order to confront (...)
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  35. Ernie Lepore (2010). Saying and Agreeing. Mind and Language 25 (5):583-601.
    No semantic theory is complete without an account of context sensitivity. But there is little agreement over its scope and limits even though everyone invokes intuition about an expression's behavior in context to determine its context sensitivity. Minimalists like Cappelen and Lepore identify a range of tests which isolate clear cases of context sensitive expressions, such as ‘I’, ‘here’, and ‘now’, to the exclusion of all others. Contextualists try to discredit the tests and supplant them with ones friendlier to their (...)
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  36. David Lewis (1975). Languages and Language. In Keith Gunderson (ed.), Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science. University of Minnesota Press. 3-35.
  37. John MacFarlane (2011). What Is Assertion? In Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.), Assertion. Oup Oxford.
    To assert something is to perform a certain kind of act. This act is different in kind both from other speech acts, like questions, requests, commands, promises, and apologies, and from acts that are not speech acts, like toast buttering and inarticulate yodeling. My question, then is this: what features of an act qualify it as an assertion, and not one of these other kinds of act? To focus on a particular example: in uttering “Bill will close the window,” one (...)
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  38. Ruth Manor (1982). Pragmatics and the Logic of Questions and Assertions. Philosophica 29.
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  39. Peter Pagin, Is Assertion Social?
    In 1956 J. L. Austin presented his famous distinction between performative and constative.1 Roughly, whereas in a constative utterance you report an already obtaining state of affairs—you say something—in a performative utterance you create something new: you do something.2 Paradigm examples of performatives were utterances by means of which actions such as baptizing, congratulating and greeting are performed.
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  40. Peter Pagin (2011). Information and Assertoric Force. In Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oup Oxford.
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  41. Peter Pagin, Assertion. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An assertion is a speech act in which something is claimed to hold, e.g. that there are infinitely many prime numbers, or, with respect to some time t, that there is a traffic congestion on Brooklyn Bridge at t, or, of some person x with respect to some time t, that x has a tooth ache at t. The concept of assertion has often occupied a central place in the philosophy of language, since it is often thought that making assertions (...)
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  42. Huw Price (1987). Truth and the Nature of Assertion. Mind 96 (382):202-220.
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  43. Huw Price (1983). Sense, Assertion, Dummett and Denial. Mind 92 (366):161-173.
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  44. Ian Proops (1997). The Early Wittgenstein on Logical Assertion. Philosophical Topics 25 (2):121-144.
    The paper argues that Wittgenstein's criticisms of Frege and Russell's assertion sign are, a bottom, criticisms of a common flaw in these philosophers' early conceptions of the proposition. Each philosopher offers an account of the proposition that *seems* to suggest that a sentence cannot get so far as to say something without the addition of the assertion sign. This leads to the mistaken idea that there is a coherent notion of "logical assertion.".
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  45. Michael Rescorla (2009). Shifting the Burden of Proof? Philosophical Quarterly 59 (234):86-109.
    Dialectical foundationalists, including Adler, Brandom, Leite, and Williams, claim that some asserted propositions do not require defense just because an interlocutor challenges them. By asserting such a proposition, the speaker shifts the burden of proof to her interlocutor. Dialectical egalitarians claim that all asserted propositions require defense when challenged. I elucidate the dispute between dialectical foundationalists and egalitarians, and I defend a broadly egalitarian stance against several prominent objections.
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  46. Adam Rieger (2006). A Simple Theory of Conditionals. Analysis 66 (3):233–240.
  47. David Ripley, Embedding Denial.
    Suppose Alice asserts p, and the Caterpillar wants to disagree. If the Caterpillar accepts classical logic, he has an easy way to indicate this disagreement: he can simply assert ¬p. Sometimes, though, things are not so easy. For example, suppose the Cheshire Cat is a paracompletist who thinks that p ∨ ¬p fails (in familiar (if possibly misleading) language, the Cheshire Cat thinks p is a gap). Then he surely disagrees with Alice's assertion of p, but should himself be unwilling (...)
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  48. Nathan U. Salmon (1982). Assertion and Incomplete Definite Descriptions. Philosophical Studies 42 (1):37--45.
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  49. Maria Schaar (2011). Assertion and Grounding: A Theory of Assertion for Constructive Type Theory. Synthese 183 (2):187-210.
    Taking Per Martin-Löf’s constructive type theory as a starting-point a theory of assertion is developed, which is able to account for the epistemic aspects of the speech act of assertion, and in which it is shown that assertion is not a wide genus. From a constructivist point of view, one is entitled to assert, for example, that a proposition A is true, only if one has constructed a proof object a for A in an act of demonstration. One thereby has (...)
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  50. Michael J. Shaffer (2012). Moorean Sentences and the Norm of Assertion. Logos and Episteme 3:653-658.
    In this paper Timothy Williamson’s argument that the knowledge norm of assertion is the best explanation of the unassertability of Morrean sentences is challenged and an alternative account of the norm of assertion is defended.
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