Endorsement and assertion

Noûs 55 (2):363-384 (2021)
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Abstract

Scientists, philosophers, and other researchers commonly assert their theories. This is surprising, as there are good reasons for skepticism about theories in cutting-edge research. I propose a new account of assertion in research contexts that vindicates these assertions. This account appeals to a distinct propositional attitude called endorsement, which is the rational attitude of committed advocacy researchers have to their theories. The account also appeals to a theory of conversational pragmatics known as the Question Under Discussion model, or QUD. Hence, I call the theory the EQUD model. Motivating this account is a recognition that the speech act of assertion has two roles to play in research contexts. The first is the advocacy role, in which researchers assert a theory in order to advocate for it. The second is the evidential role, which is used to add to the common stock of information available to a field of inquiry. The EQUD model provides an account of warranted assertion for both these roles in research contexts. This success provides support for the theory of endorsement. It also provides support for information updating accounts of assertion.

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Author's Profile

Will Fleisher
Georgetown University

Citations of this work

The Knowledge Norm for Inquiry.Christopher Willard-Kyle - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
Representing Knowledge.Peter van Elswyk - 2021 - The Philosophical Review 130 (1):97-143.
How to Endorse Conciliationism.Will Fleisher - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9913-9939.
Should Agents Be Immodest?Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 62 (3):235-251.

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