Cynical Assertion: Convention, Pragmatics, and Saying "Uncle"

American Philosophical Quarterly 40 (3):241-248 (2003)
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 assertion, by considering two philosophical applications of the notion: first, in support of Michael Dummett’s conventionalist account of assertion; and second, in illuminating an aspect of Moore’s paradox
Keywords assertion  convention  Dummett  Grice  coercion
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Tim Kenyon (2010). Assertion and Capitulation. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (3):352-368.

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