Same, same but different: the epistemic norms of assertion, action and practical reasoning

Philosophical Studies 168 (3):725-744 (2014)


What is the relationship between the epistemic norms of assertion and the epistemic norms of action/practical reasoning? Brown argues that the standards for practical reasoning and assertion are distinct (Brown 2012). In contrast, Montminy argues that practical reasoning and assertion must be governed by the same norm (Montminy 2012). Likewise, McKinnon has articulated an argument for a unified account from cases of isolated second-hand knowledge (McKinnon 2012). To clarify the issue, I articulate a distinction between Equivalence Commonality and Structural Commonality. I then argue against the former by counterexamples that doubly dissociate the standards for assertion and action. Furthermore, I argue that such a double dissociation compromises knowledge accounts of both assertion and action/practical reasoning. To provide a more accurate diagnosis, I consider speech act theory and argue that principled differences between the norms of action and assertion compromise Equivalence Commonality. In contrast, a qualified version of Structural Commonality may be preserved.

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Author's Profile

Mikkel Gerken
University of Southern Denmark

References found in this work

Studies in the Way of Words.Herbert Paul Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work

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Truth‐Sensitivity and Folk Epistemology.Mikkel Gerken - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):3-25.
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