Norms of Assertion: The Quantity and Quality of Epistemic Support

Philosophia 39 (4):615-635 (2011)
Abstract
We show that the contemporary debate surrounding the question “What is the norm of assertion?” presupposes what we call the quantitative view, i.e. the view that this question is best answered by determining how much epistemic support is required to warrant assertion. We consider what Jennifer Lackey ( 2010 ) has called cases of isolated second-hand knowledge and show—beyond what Lackey has suggested herself—that these cases are best understood as ones where a certain type of understanding , rather than knowledge, constitutes the required epistemic credential to warrant assertion. If we are right that understanding (and not just knowledge) is the epistemic norm for a restricted class of assertions, then this straightforwardly undercuts not only the widely supposed quantitative view, but also a more general presupposition concerning the universalisability of some norm governing assertion—the presumption (almost entirely unchallenged since Williamson’s 1996 paper) that any epistemic norm that governs some assertions should govern assertions—as a class of speech act—uniformly
Keywords Assertion  Norms  Understanding  Justification  Knowledge
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References found in this work BETA
Tyler Burge (1993). Content Preservation. Philosophical Review 102 (4):457-488.
Herman Cappelen (2011). Against Assertion. In Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.

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Similar books and articles
Conor McHugh (2012). What Assertion Doesn't Show. European Journal of Philosophy 20 (3):407-429.
Jennifer Lackey (2011). Assertion and Isolated Second-Hand Knowledge. In Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press. 251--276.
Matthew Weiner (2005). Must We Know What We Say? Philosophical Review 114 (2):227-251.
Clayton Littlejohn (2010). Moore's Paradox and Epistemic Norms. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):79 – 100.
Rachel McKinnon (2013). The Supportive Reasons Norm of Assertion. American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (2):121-135.
Rachel McKinnon & John Turri (2013). Irksome Assertions. Philosophical Studies 166 (1):123-128.
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