Authentic Speech and Insincerity

Journal of Philosophy 120 (10):550-576 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Many theorists assume that a request is sincere if the speaker wants the addressee to perform the act requested. I argue that this assumption predicts an implausible mismatch between sincere assertions and sincere directives and needs to be revised. I present an alternative view, according to which directive utterances can only be sincere if they are self-directed. Other-directed directives, however, can be genuine or fake, depending on whether the speaker wants the addressee to perform the act in question. Finally, I argue that this new perspective opens the door to a satisfying theory of authentic expression, for both assertive and directive utterances. Authenticity consists in the combination of genuine and sincere speech, for example, in the case of assertion, when speakers assert something which they both believe (sincerity) and want the addressee to believe (genuineness).


Added to PP

594 (#33,074)

6 months
215 (#15,751)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Elmar Unnsteinsson
University College Dublin

Citations of this work

Talking About: A Response to Bowker, Keiser, Michaelson.Elmar Unnsteinsson - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Against Gullibility.Elizabeth Fricker - 1994 - In A. Chakrabarti & B. K. Matilal (eds.), Knowing from Words. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Logic and Semantics for Imperatives.Nate Charlow - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):617-664.
Paul Grice and the philosophy of language.Stephen Neale - 1992 - Linguistics and Philosophy 15 (5):509 - 559.
The definition of lying.Thomas L. Carson - 2006 - Noûs 40 (2):284–306.
Curiosity was Framed.Dennis Whitcomb - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):664-687.

View all 19 references / Add more references