Cognition 129 (2):279-291 (2013)

Authors
John Turri
University of Waterloo
Abstract
Assertion is fundamental to our lives as social and cognitive beings. Philosophers have recently built an impressive case that the norm of assertion is factive. That is, you should make an assertion only if it is true. Thus far the case for a factive norm of assertion been based on observational data. This paper adds experimental evidence in favor of a factive norm from six studies. In these studies, an assertion’s truth value dramatically affects whether people think it should be made. Whereas nearly everyone agreed that a true assertion supported by good evidence should be made, most people judged that a false assertion supported by good evidence should not be made. The studies also suggest that people are consciously aware of criteria that guide their evaluation of assertions. Evidence is also presented that some intuitive support for a non-factive norm of assertion comes from a surprising tendency people have to misdescribe cases of blameless rule-breaking as cases where no rule is broken.
Keywords Assertion  Norms  Moral psychology  Exculpatory pretense  Blame  Knowledge account of assertion  truth  knowledge  practices  excuse validation
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DOI 10.1016/j.cognition.2013.06.012
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References found in this work BETA

Studies in the Way of Words.H. P. Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.

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Citations of this work BETA

Gricean Quality.Matthew A. Benton - 2016 - Noûs 50 (4):689-703.

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