Knowledge Is (Still) the Norm of Assertion

NCCU Philosophical Journal 37:33-74 (2017)
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In this paper, I defend the thesis that knowledge is the norm of assertion. I first examine three prominent “counterexamples”: false assertion, selfless assertion, and assertion based on mere justified true belief. I argue that they all fail to square well with our ordinary intuitions. However, the contemporary debate over the norm of assertion depends heavily on the method of counterexamples, whose crux is to prompt our intuitions regarding the appropriateness (or inappropriateness) of a certain kind of assertions. This method has its limits as sometimes the debate simply boils down to a clash of intuitions. I think we can do better. In the second part of the paper, I construct a positive argument for the knowledge norm, showing that the knowledge norm can be derived from the general account of the conversational role of assertion. I argue that in order for assertion to play the role it plays in conversation, the knowledge norm must hold.



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Kok Yong Lee
National Chung Cheng University

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References found in this work

Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism.Peter K. Unger - 1975 - Oxford [Eng.]: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):105-116.
Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?Edmund Gettier - 1963 - Analysis 23 (6):121-123.

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