In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 727-748 (2020)

Authors
Peter Graham
University of California, Riverside
Abstract
A proper function of an entity is a beneficial effect that helps explain the persistence of the entity. Proper functions thereby arise through feedback mechanisms with beneficial effects as inputs and persistence as outputs. We continue to make assertions because they benefit speakers by benefiting speakers. Hearers benefit from true information. Speakers benefit by influencing hearer belief. If hearers do not benefit, they will not form beliefs in response to assertions. Speakers can then only maintain influence by providing true information, often enough. The function of assertion is then inducing true hearer belief. When interests conflict, however, some mechanism must ensure that speakers provide true information often enough, instead of deceiving, or providing information regardless of quality. In humans, a core mechanism stabilizing true assertion involves social norms for truth telling. We tell the truth partly because we prescribe and enforce telling the truth.
Keywords assertion  proper function  social norms  testimony  animal signals  epistemic vigilance  strong reciprocity
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on Amazon.com
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Testimony: A Philosophical Study.C. A. J. Coady - 1992 - Oxford University Press.

View all 46 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

You Gotta Believe.John Turri - 2014 - In Clayton Littlejohn & John Turri (eds.), Epistemic norms: new essays on action, belief and assertion. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 193-199.
Epistemic Norms of Assertion and Action.Mikkel Gerken & Esben Nedenskov Petersen - 2020 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Norm of Moral Assertion: A Reply to Simion.Max Lewis - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (4):1043-1049.
You Don't Say! Lying, Asserting and Insincerity.Neri Marsili - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Sheffield
Testimony and the Constitutive Norm of Assertion.Casey Rebecca Johnson - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):356-375.
Testimonial Entitlement and the Function of Comprehension.Peter J. Graham - 2010 - In Duncan Pritchard, Alan Millar & Adrian Haddock (eds.), Social Epistemology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 148--174.
Epistemic Entitlement.Peter J. Graham - 2012 - Noûs 46 (3):449-482.
Assertions Only?Ben Bronner - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):44-52.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-10-12

Total views
102 ( #104,607 of 62,463 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
39 ( #18,266 of 62,463 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes