In this paper I aim to defend the claim that we are a priori entitled to accept that a speaker is being sincere, unless there are positive reasons not to. I look initially at the trust approach to testimony, which claims affective trust plays an epistemic role in our coming to believe that a speaker is being sincere. My claim is that this view is mistaken, and yet has something important to say in recognising the essential difference between testimony and other forms of evidence. This difference is intentionality. It is my view that in exploring the real intentions behind assertions we can discover why it is that we have an a priori entitlement to accept that a speaker is being sincere. If we recognise that intending to communicate is intending to transfer belief, then we must recognise that intending to communicate entails sincerity. A hearer is entitled to accept that an assertion which is explicitly offered as communication is in fact sincere
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DOI 10.4314/sajpem.v28i2.46665
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