Norms of Assertion: The Quantity and Quality of Epistemic Support

Philosophia 39 (4):615-635 (2011)
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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

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Author Profiles

J. Adam Carter
University of Glasgow
Emma C. Gordon
University of Glasgow

Citations of this work

Expert Opinion and Second‐Hand Knowledge.Matthew A. Benton - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):492-508.
Assertion: Knowledge is Enough.Mona Simion - 2016 - Synthese 193 (10).
Assertion.Peter Pagin & Neri Marsili - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.

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