Being in a Position to Know is the Norm of Assertion

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (2):328-352 (2020)
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Abstract

This paper defends a new norm of assertion: Assert that p only if you are in a position to know that p. We test the norm by judging its performance in explaining three phenomena that appear jointly inexplicable at first: Moorean paradoxes, lottery propositions, and selfless assertions. The norm succeeds by tethering unassertability to unknowability while untethering belief from assertion. The PtK‐norm foregrounds the public nature of assertion as a practice that can be other‐regarding, allowing asserters to act in the best interests of their audience when psychological pressures would otherwise prevent them from communicating the knowable truth.

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Author's Profile

Christopher Willard-Kyle
University of Glasgow

Citations of this work

Assertion is weak.Matthew Mandelkern & Kevin Dorst - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22.
The Knowledge Norm for Inquiry.Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2023 - Journal of Philosophy 120 (11):615-640.
Safety, Closure, and Extended Methods.Simon Goldstein & John Hawthorne - 2024 - Journal of Philosophy 121 (1):26-54.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism.Peter K. Unger - 1975 - Oxford [Eng.]: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
Knowing Full Well.Ernest Sosa - 2010 - Princeton University Press.

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