33 found
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  1. The Definition of Assertion: Commitment and Truth.Neri Marsili - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    According to an influential view, asserting a proposition involves undertaking some “commitment” to the truth of that proposition. But accounts of what it is for someone to be committed to the truth of a proposition are often vague or imprecise, and are rarely put to work to define assertion. This paper aims to fill this gap. It offers a precise characterisation of assertoric commitment, and shows how it can be applied to define assertion. On the proposed view, acquiring commitment is (...)
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  2. Retweeting: its linguistic and epistemic value.Neri Marsili - 2021 - Synthese 198:10457–10483.
    This paper analyses the communicative and epistemic value of retweeting (and more generally of reposting content on social media). Against a naïve view, it argues that retweets are not acts of endorsement, motivating this diagnosis with linguistic data. Retweeting is instead modelled as a peculiar form of quotation, in which the reported content is indicated rather than reproduced. A relevance-theoretic account of the communicative import of retweeting is then developed, to spell out the complex mechanisms by which retweets achieve their (...)
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  3. Truth and assertion: rules vs aims.Neri Marsili - 2018 - Analysis 78 (4):638–648.
    There is a fundamental disagreement about which norm regulates assertion. Proponents of factive accounts argue that only true propositions are assertable, whereas proponents of non-factive accounts insist that at least some false propositions are. Puzzlingly, both views are supported by equally plausible (but apparently incompatible) linguistic data. This paper delineates an alternative solution: to understand truth as the aim of assertion, and pair this view with a non-factive rule. The resulting account is able to explain all the relevant linguistic data, (...)
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  4. Saying, commitment, and the lying – misleading distinction.Neri Marsili & Guido Löhr - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (12):687-698.
    How can we capture the intuitive distinction between lying and misleading? According to a traditional view, the difference boils down to whether the speaker is saying (as opposed to implying) something that they believe to be false. This view is subject to known objections; to overcome them, an alternative view has emerged. For the alternative view, what matters is whether the speaker can consistently deny that they are committed to knowing the relevant proposition. We point out serious flaws for this (...)
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  5. Lying, speech acts, and commitment.Neri Marsili - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3245-3269.
    Not every speech act can be a lie. A good definition of lying should be able to draw the right distinctions between speech acts that can be lies and speech acts that under no circumstances are lies. This paper shows that no extant account of lying is able to draw the required distinctions. It argues that a definition of lying based on the notion of ‘assertoric commitment’ can succeed where other accounts have failed. Assertoric commitment is analysed in terms of (...)
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  6. Towards a Unified Theory of Illocutionary Normativity.Neri Marsili - 2023 - In Laura Caponetto & Paolo Labinaz (eds.), Sbisà on Speech as Action. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 2147483647-2147483647.
    Speech acts are governed by a variety of illocutionary norms. Building on Sbisà’s (2019) work, this chapter attempts to develop a common framework to study them. Four families of illocutionary rules are identified: (i) Validity rules set conditions for (actual) performance; (ii) Cooperative rules set conditions for cooperative performance; (iii) Illocutionary goals set conditions for successful performance; (iv) Illocutionary obligations set conditions for compliance. Illocutionary rules are often taken to play a constitutive role: speech acts are said to be constituted (...)
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  7. Immoral lies and partial beliefs.Neri Marsili - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (1):117-127.
    In a recent article, Krauss (2017) raises some fundamental questions concerning (i) what the desiderata of a definition of lying are, and (ii) how definitions of lying can account for partial beliefs. This paper aims to provide an adequate answer to both questions. Regarding (i), it shows that there can be a tension between two desiderata for a definition of lying: 'descriptive accuracy' (meeting intuitions about our ordinary concept of lying), and 'moral import' (meeting intuitions about what is wrong with (...)
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  8. Lying: Knowledge or belief?Neri Marsili - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1445-1460.
    A new definition of lying is gaining traction, according to which you lie only if you say what you know to be false. Drawing inspiration from “New Evil Demon” scenarios, I present a battery of counterexamples against this “Knowledge Account” of lying. Along the way, I comment upon the methodology of conceptual analysis, the moral implications of the Knowledge Account, and its ties with knowledge-first epistemology.
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  9. Group Assertions and Group Lies.Neri Marsili - 2023 - Topoi 42 (2):369-384.
    Groups, like individuals, can communicate. They can issue statements, make promises, give advice. Sometimes, in doing so, they lie and deceive. The goal of this paper is to offer a precise characterisation of what it means for a group to make an assertion and to lie. I begin by showing that Lackey’s influential account of group assertion is unable to distinguish assertions from other speech acts, explicit statements from implicatures, and lying from misleading. I propose an alternative view, according to (...)
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  10. Lying by Promising. A study on insincere illocutionary acts.Neri Marsili - 2016 - International Review of Pragmatics 8 (2):271-313.
    This paper is divided into two parts. In the first part, I extend the traditional definition of lying to illocutionary acts executed by means of explicit performatives, focusing on promising. This is achieved in two steps. First, I discuss how the utterance of a sentence containing an explicit performative such as “I promise that Φ ” can count as an assertion of its content Φ . Second, I develop a general account of insincerity meant to explain under which conditions a (...)
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  11. Fictions that Purport to Tell the Truth.Neri Marsili - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (2):509-531.
    Can fictions make genuine assertions about the actual world? Proponents of the ‘Assertion View’ answer the question affirmatively: they hold that authors can assert, by means of explicit statements that are part of the work of fiction, that something is actually the case in the real world. The ‘Nonassertion’ View firmly denies this possibility. In this paper, I defend a nuanced version of the Nonassertion View. I argue that even if fictions cannot assert, they can indirectly communicate that what is (...)
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  12. The norm of assertion: a ‘constitutive’ rule?Neri Marsili - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-22.
    According to an influential hypothesis, the speech act of assertion is subject to a single 'constitutive' rule, that takes the form: "One must: assert that p only if p has C". Scholars working on assertion interpret the assumption that this rule is 'constitutive' in different ways. This disagreement, often unacknowledged, threatens the foundations of the philosophical debate on assertion. This paper reviews different interpretations of the claim that assertion is governed by a constitutive rule. It argues that once we understand (...)
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  13. Should I say that? An experimental investigation of the norm of assertion.Neri Marsili & Alex Wiegmann - 2021 - Cognition 212 (C):104657.
    Assertions are our standard communicative tool for sharing and acquiring information. Recent empirical studies seemingly provide converging evidence that assertions are subject to a factive norm: you are entitled to assert a proposition p only if p is true. All these studies, however, assume that we can treat participants' judgments about what an agent 'should say' as evidence of their intuitions about assertability. This paper argues that this assumption is incorrect, so that the conclusions drawn in these studies are unwarranted. (...)
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  14. Assertion.Peter Pagin & Neri Marsili - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Asserting is the act of claiming that something is the case—for instance, that oranges are citruses, or that there is a traffic congestion on Brooklyn Bridge (at some time). We make assertions to share information, coordinate our actions, defend arguments, and communicate our beliefs and desires. Because of its central role in communication, assertion has been investigated in several disciplines. Linguists, philosophers of language, and logicians rely heavily on the notion of assertion in theorizing about meaning, truth and inference. -/- (...)
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  15. Lies, Common Ground and Performative Utterances.Neri Marsili - 2021 - Erkenntnis 88 (2):567-578.
    In a recent book (_Lying and insincerity_, Oxford University Press, 2018), Andreas Stokke argues that one lies iff one says something one believes to be false, thereby proposing that it becomes common ground. This paper shows that Stokke’s proposal is unable to draw the right distinctions about insincere performative utterances. The objection also has repercussions on theories of assertion, because it poses a novel challenge to any attempt to define assertion as a proposal to update the common ground.
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  16. Truth: The Rule or the Aim of Assertion?Neri Marsili - 2024 - Episteme 21 (1):263-269.
    Is truth the rule or the aim of assertion? Philosophers disagree. After reviewing the available evidence, the hypothesis that truth is the aim of assertion is defended against recent attempts to prove that truth is rather a rule of assertion.
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  17. Assertion: a (partly) social speech act.Neri Marsili & Mitchell Green - 2021 - Journal of Pragmatics 181 (August 2021):17-28.
    In a series of articles (Pagin, 2004, 2009), Peter Pagin has argued that assertion is not a social speech act, introducing a method (which we baptize ‘the P-test’) designed to refute any account that defines assertion in terms of its social effects. This paper contends that Pagin's method fails to rebut the thesis that assertion is social. We show that the P-test is both unreliable (because it overgenerates counterexamples) and counterproductive (because it ultimately provides evidence in favor of some social (...)
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  18. Lying as a scalar phenomenon.Neri Marsili - 2014 - In Sibilla Cantarini, Werner Abraham & Elisabeth Leiss (eds.), Certainty-Uncertainty Âe and the Attitudinal Space in Between. John Benjamins Publishing.
    In the philosophical debate on lying, there has generally been agreement that either the speaker believes that his statement is false, or he believes that his statement is true. This article challenges this assumption, and argues that lying is a scalar phenomenon that allows for a number of intermediate cases – the most obvious being cases of uncertainty. The first section shows that lying can involve beliefs about graded truth values (fuzzy lies) and graded beliefs (graded-belief lies). It puts forward (...)
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  19. Lying and Certainty.Neri Marsili - 2018 - In Jörg Meibauer (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Lying. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford Handbooks. pp. 170-182.
    In the philosophical literature on the definition of lying, the analysis is generally restricted to cases of flat-out belief. This chapter considers the complex phenomenon of lies involving partial beliefs – beliefs ranging from mere uncertainty to absolute certainty. The first section analyses lies uttered while holding a graded belief in the falsity of the assertion, and presents a revised insincerity condition, requiring that the liar believes the assertion to be more likely to be false than true. The second section (...)
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  20. Fictions that don’t tell the truth.Neri Marsili - 2024 - Philosophical Studies 181 (5):1025-1046.
    Can fictions lie? According to a classic conception, works of fiction can never contain lies, since their content is not presented as true, nor is it meant to deceive us. But this classic view can be challenged. Sometimes fictions appear to make claims about the actual world, and these claims can be designed to convey falsehoods, historical misconceptions, and even pernicious stereotypes. Should we conclude that some fictional statements are lies? This article introduces two views that support a positive answer, (...)
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  21. The truth about assertion and retraction: A review of the empirical literature.Markus Kneer & Neri Marsili - forthcoming - In Alex Wiegmann (ed.), Lying, Fake News, and Bullshit. Bloomsbury.
    This chapter reviews empirical research on the rules governing assertion and retraction, with a focus on the normative role of truth. It examines whether truth is required for an assertion to be considered permissible, and whether there is an expectation that speakers retract statements that turn out to be false. Contrary to factive norms (such as the influential “knowledge norm”), empirical data suggests that there is no expectation that speakers only make true assertions. Additionally, contrary to truth-relativist accounts, there is (...)
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  22.  82
    Parte quarta. La testimonianza.Neri Marsili - 2024 - In Neri Marsili, Daniele Sgaravatti & Giorgio Volpe (eds.), Filosofia della conoscenza. Cosa sappiamo, come lo sappiamo. Bologna: Archetipo Libri (CLUEB).
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  23. Counterevidentials.Laura Caponetto & Neri Marsili - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Moorean constructions are famously odd: it is infelicitous to deny that you believe what you claim to be true. But what about claiming that p, only to immediately put into question your evidence in support of p? In this paper, we identify and analyse a class of quasi-Moorean constructions, which we label counterevidentials. Although odd, counterevidentials can be accommodated as felicitous attempts to mitigate one’s claim right after making it. We explore how counterevidentials differ from lexicalised mitigation operators, parentheticals, and (...)
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  24. You don't say! Lying, asserting and insincerity.Neri Marsili - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Sheffield
    This thesis addresses philosophical problems concerning improper assertions. The first part considers the issue of defining lying: here, against a standard view, I argue that a lie need not intend to deceive the hearer. I define lying as an insincere assertion, and then resort to speech act theory to develop a detailed account of what an assertion is, and what can make it insincere. Even a sincere assertion, however, can be improper (e.g., it can be false, or unwarranted): in the (...)
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  25.  84
    Normative accounts of assertion: from Peirce to Williamson and back again.Neri Marsili - 2015 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio 2014:112-130.
    Arguably, a theory of assertion should be able to provide (i) a definition of assertion, and (ii) a set of conditions for an assertion to be appropriate. This paper reviews two strands of theories that have attempted to meet this challenge. Commitment-based accounts à la Peirce define assertion in terms of commitment to the truth of the proposition. Restriction-based accounts à la Williamson define assertion in terms of the conditions for its appropriate performance. After assessing the suitability of these projects (...)
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  26. Affermazioni e verità: fra regole e scopi.Neri Marsili - forthcoming - Rivista di Filosofia:365-395.
    There is a fundamental disagreement about which norm regulates assertion. Proponents of factive accounts argue that only true propositions are assertable, whereas proponents of non-factive accounts insist that at least some false propositions are. This paper delineates an alternative solution: to understand truth as the aim of assertion. In asserting, you describe reality as being in a certain way, and you succeed only if reality is indeed in that way. This tells us under which conditions assertions are successful, but not (...)
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  27. Filosofia della conoscenza. Cosa sappiamo, come lo sappiamo.Neri Marsili, Daniele Sgaravatti & Giorgio Volpe (eds.) - 2024 - Bologna: Archetipo Libri (CLUEB). Translated by Antonio Scarafone, Guido Tana, Daniele Sgaravatti, Cristina Nencha, Matteo Baggio & Giorgio Volpe.
    Le domande sulla natura, le fonti e la possibilità della conoscenza sono da sempre al centro della riflessione filosofica, ma negli ultimi decenni sono state affrontate da nuovi punti di vista e con metodologie inedite, ricevendo risposte talora sorprendenti. Questo volume presenta un campione della ricerca epistemologica più recente, rendendo accessibili al pubblico italiano i contributi di alcuni dei maggiori studiosi contemporanei della disciplina. L'opera è suddivisa in quattro parti, dedicate rispettivamente alla dipendenza del sapere da fattori contestuali e pragmatici, (...)
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  28.  66
    Le facce della menzogna - Una rassegna critica delle definizioni filosofiche di menzogna.Neri Marsili - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Torino
    Secondo la definizione “standard”, la menzogna è definita da quattro condizioni necessarie, congiuntamente sufficienti. La prima (condizione dell’asserto) richiede che il parlante proferisca un asserto in una frase dichiarativa dotata di senso compiuto. La seconda (condizione dell’insincerità), stabilisce che il parlante debba credere falso il contenuto proposizionale (p) del suo asserto, e la terza (condizione dell’interlocutore) richiede che l’asserto sia rivolto a un interlocutore. Secondo l’ultima condizione (condizione dell’intenzione di ingannare), il parlante deve avere l’intenzione di far credere all’interlocutore che (...)
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  29. Sharing bullshit on social media.Neri Marsili - 2022 - Open for Debate.
     
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  30.  83
    Assertion and its Social Significance: An Introduction.Bianca Cepollaro, Paolo Labinaz & Neri Marsili - 2019 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio 13 (1):1-18.
    This paper offers a brief survey of the philosophical literature on assertion, presenting each contribution to the RIFL special issue "Assertion and its social significance" within the context of the contemporary debate in which it intervenes. The discussion is organised into three thematic sections. The first one concerns the nature of assertion and its relation with assertoric commitment – the distinctive responsibility that the speaker undertakes in virtue of making a statement. The second section considers the epistemic significance of assertion, (...)
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  31.  30
    "Mentire è moralmente sbagliato" è una tautologia? Una risposta a Margolis.Neri Marsili - 2012 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia Analitica - Junior 3 (2):36-49.
    All’interno del dibattito sulla definizione filosofica della menzogna, alcuni autori hanno sostenuto che mentire è sempre sbagliato. Margolis, in particolare, ha espresso la tesi radicale secondo cui “mentire è moralmente sbagliato” è una tautologia. Nella prima parte dell’articolo introduco la tesi di Margolis, e ne difendo la plausibilità contro le semplificazioni che ha subito all’interno del dibattito filosofico, mostrando che l’applicazione condizionale del predicato “sbagliato” consente di trattare in modo adeguato alcune menzogne intuitivamente giustificabili. Nella seconda parte argomento che, nonostante (...)
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  32.  72
    Eliot Michaelson and Andreas Stokke (eds.), Lying: Language, Knowledge, Ethics, and Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), pp. 320. [REVIEW]Neri Marsili - 2021 - Utilitas 33 (4):502-505.
  33.  63
    Recensione di "Mindfucking: a critique of mental manipulation", di Colin McGinn. [REVIEW]Neri Marsili - 2013 - Aphex 8.