Acta Analytica 29 (1):99-117 (2014)

Geoffrey Pynn
Northern Illinois University
Epistemologists have proposed various norms of assertion to explain when a speaker is in an epistemic position to assert a proposition. In this article I propose a distinct necessary condition on assertibility: that a speaker should assert only what she sensitively believes, where a subject's belief is sensitive just in case the subject would not hold it if it were false. I argue that the Sensitivity Rule underwrites simple explanations for three key features of assertibility that pose explanatory challenges to other prominent proposals: the fact that assertibility is open under known entailment, the general impropriety of assertions that a lottery ticket has lost made purely on the basis of the speaker's knowledge of the odds, and the fact that assertibility varies widely with features of the conversational context. I close by considering three distinct roles the Sensitivity Rule might play in the overall theory of assertibility
Keywords Assertion  Closure  Norms of assertion  Sensitive belief  Subjunctive conditionals
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-013-0212-6
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Counterfactuals.David Kellogg Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.

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