The Limits of Acceptance

Jessica Keiser
University of Leeds
In 'Lying and Insincerity', Andreas Stokke argues for the superiority of the Stalnakerian account of lying on the basis of its ability to accommodate the intuition that bald-faced lies are genuine lies. In this paper I question this and other predictions of the Stalnakerian account, arguing that they hinge crucially on how we sharpen our understanding of two technical terms: assertion and official common ground. I survey a number of potential precisifications, arguing that none provide a clear and non-circular metric for verifying the predictions at issue. Because the options I consider are not exhaustive, it is possible for Stalnakerian theorists to provide a robust metric for testing the theory in controversial cases. My aim is to put pressure on them to do so, and to show that—until then—the Stalnakerian approach has no clear advantage over the Gricean approach.
Keywords lying  assertion  common ground  Stalnaker  Grice
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