Selfless assertions and the Knowledge Norm

Synthese (12):1-20 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

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.

Similar books and articles

Selfless assertions: some empirical evidence.John Turri - 2015 - Synthese 192 (4):1221-1233.
Knowledge Is (Still) the Norm of Assertion.Kok Yong Lee - 2017 - NCCU Philosophical Journal 37:33-74.
Against selfless assertions.Ivan Milić - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (9):2277-2295.
Being in a Position to Know is the Norm of Assertion.Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (2):328-352.
Must we know what we say?Matthew Weiner - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (2):227-251.
A Note on Existentially Known Assertions.Ivan Milić - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (261):813-821.
The norm of assertion: Empirical data.Markus Kneer - 2018 - Cognition 177 (C):165-171.
Intellectual Flourishing as the Fundamental Epistemic Norm.Berit Brogaard - 2014 - In Clayton Littlejohn & John Turri (eds.), Epistemic Norms: New Essays on Action, Belief, and Assertion. Oxford University Press. pp. 11-31.
Assertion and the Future.Corine Besson & Anandi Hattiangadi - 2020 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 481-504.
Justification as the appearance of knowledge.Steven L. Reynolds - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (2):367-383.
Representing Yourself as Knowing.Christopher McCammon - 2014 - American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (2):133-144.
Assertion and transparent self-knowledge.Eric Marcus & John Schwenkler - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (7):873-889.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-08-12

Downloads
114 (#111,223)

6 months
65 (#18,795)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Nicholas Tebben
Towson University

Citations of this work

Assertion remains strong.Peter van Elswyk & Matthew A. Benton - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (1):27-50.

Add more citations

References found in this work

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.

View all 29 references / Add more references