Noûs 47 (4):613-646 (2013)

Edward Hinchman
Florida State University
The oddities in lottery cases and Moore’s paradox appear to support the knowledge account of assertion, according to which one should assert only what one knows. This paper preserves an emphasis on epistemic norms but presents grounds for an alternative explanation. The alternative divides the explanandum, explaining the error in lottery and Moorean assertions with one move and their deeper incoherence with another. The error derives from a respect in which the assertions are uninformative: the speaker is not being appropriately responsive to her addressee’s epistemic needs. And the incoherence derives from a deeper respect in which lottery and some (but not all) Moorean assertions are uninformative: it is difficult to see how the speaker’s assertion could express any judgment she has made or would relevantly make, since she transparently lacks epistemic authority to inform any conceivable interlocutor on the subject. This diagnosis suggests an epistemic approach not directly to assertion but to judgment. Without judging that p, how could a speaker be in the business of informing her addressee that p? If the speaker transparently lacks authority to inform anyone whether p – to give anyone her word that p – how could she without confusion count as judging that p?
Keywords assertion  sincerity  lottery cases  Moore's paradox  norms of assertion
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2013
DOI 10.1111/nous.12045
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 60,901
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Problems with Norms of Assertion.Peter Pagin - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):178-207.
Assertion.Peter Pagin - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Truth and Assertion: Rules Vs Aims.Neri Marsili - 2018 - Analysis 78 (4):638–648.
Can You Lie Without Intending to Deceive?Vladimir Krstić - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (2):642–660.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Problems of Sincerity.Richard Moran - 2005 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (3):341–361.
Must We Know What We Say?Matthew Weiner - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (2):227-251.
Dubious Assertions.David Sosa - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 146 (2):269 - 272.
Unsafe Assertions.Martijn Blaauw & Jeroen de Ridder - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):1-5.
Knowledge and Suberogatory Assertion.John Turri - 2013 - Philosophical Studies (3):1-11.
The Supportive Reasons Norm of Assertion.Rachel McKinnon - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (2):121-135.
Moorean Sentences and the Norm of Assertion.Michael J. Shaffer - 2012 - Logos and Episteme 3 (4):653-658.
Contextualism and Warranted Assertion.Jim Stone - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (1):92–113.


Added to PP index

Total views
312 ( #28,077 of 2,439,094 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #82,257 of 2,439,094 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes