Synthese (12):1-20 (2020)

Authors
Nicholas Tebben
Towson University
Abstract
If a speaker selflessly asserts that p, the speaker has good evidence that p is true, asserts that p on the basis of that evidence, but does not believe that p. Selfless assertions are widely thought to be acceptable, and therefore to pose a threat to the Knowledge Norm of Assertion. Advocates for the Knowledge Norm tend to respond to this threat by arguing that there are no such things as selfless assertions. They argue that those who appear to be selfless asserters either: believe what they assert, perform a speech act other than assertion, or assert a proposition other than the one that they seem to. I argue that such counterarguments are unsuccessful. There really are selfless assertions. But I also argue that they are no threat to the Knowledge Norm. There is a good case to be made that knowledge does not require belief. And if it does not, then the fact that some selfless assertions are appropriate does not tell against the Knowledge Norm. Indeed, I argue that selfless asserters know the propositions that they assert to be true.
Keywords norm of assertion  selfless assertions  speech acts
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Reprint years 2020
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-020-02827-5
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
Norms of Assertion.Jennifer Lackey - 2007 - Noûs 41 (4):594–626.
Assertion, Knowledge, and Context.Keith DeRose - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (2):167-203.
Knowledge and Action.J. Stanley & J. Hawthorne - 2008 - Revista Cultura E Fé 37 (144).
Knowing and Asserting.Timothy Williamson - 1996 - Philosophical Review 105 (4):489.

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