Cognition 212:104657 (2021)

Neri Marsili
Universitat de Barcelona
Alex Wiegmann
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Assertions are our standard communicative tool for sharing and acquiring information. Recent empirical studies seemingly provide converging evidence that assertions are subject to a factive norm: you are entitled to assert a proposition p only if p is true. All these studies, however, assume that we can treat participants' judgments about what an agent 'should say' as evidence of their intuitions about assertability. This paper argues that this assumption is incorrect, so that the conclusions drawn in these studies are unwarranted. It shows that most people do not interpret statements about what an agent 'should say' as statements about assertability, but rather as statements about what is in the agent's interest to do. It identifies some effective measures to force the intended reading of statements about what an agent 'should say', and shows that when these measures are implemented, people's judgments consistently and overwhelmingly align with non-factive accounts of assertion
Keywords Norm of Assertion  Speech act theory  Experimental Philosophy  Linguistic normativity  Excuses  Assertion  Sincerity  Excuses  Truth  Communication  Outcome bias
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DOI 10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104657
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

Lying: Knowledge or Belief?Neri Marsili - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1445-1460.
Assertion.Peter Pagin & Neri Marsili - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
No Knowledge Required.Kevin Reuter & Peter Brössel - 2018 - Episteme 16 (3):303-321.
Empirical Studies on Truth and the Project of Re‐Engineering Truth.Kevin Reuter & Georg Brun - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 2106 (3):493-517.
Two accounts of assertion.Martin Smith - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-18.

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