Norms of Assertion: The Quantity and Quality of Epistemic Support
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
We show that the contemporary debate surrounding the question “What is the norm of assertion?” presupposes what we call the quantitative view, i.e. the view that this question is best answered by determining how much epistemic support is required to warrant assertion. We consider what Jennifer Lackey (2010) has called cases of isolated second-hand knowledge and show—beyond what Lackey has suggested herself—that these cases are best understood as ones where a certain type of understanding, rather than knowledge, constitutes the required epistemic credential to warrant assertion. If we are right that understanding (and not just knowledge) is the epistemic norm for a restricted class of assertions, then this straightforwardly undercuts not only the widely supposed quantitative view, but also a more general presupposition concerning the universalisability of some norm governing assertion—the presumption (almost entirely unchallenged since Williamson’s 1996 paper) that any epistemic norm that governs some assertions should govern assertions—as a class of speech act—uniformly.
- Audi, R. (1997). The place of testimony in the fabric of knowledge and justification. American Philosophical Quarterly, 34, 405–422.
- Brogaard, B. (2005). I know; therefore, I understand. (manuscript).
- Brown, J. (2008). The knowledge norm for assertion. Philosophical Issues, 18, Interdisciplinary Core Philosophy, 2008.
- Burge, T. (1993). Content preservation. The Philosophical Review, 102, 457–488. CrossRef
- Cappelen, H. (2011). Against assertion. In J. Brown & H. Cappelen (Eds.), Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- DeRose, K. (2002). Assertion, knowledge, and context. The Philosophical Review, 111, 167–203. CrossRef
- Douven, I. (2008). Assertion, knowledge and rational credibility. Philosophical Review 2006, 115(4), 449–485. CrossRef
- Foley, R. (1994). Egoism in epistemology. In F. Schmitt (Ed.), Socializing epistemology: The social dimensions of knowledge (pp. 53–73). Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.
- Fricker, E. (1995). Telling and trusting: reductionism and anti-reductionism in the epistemology of testimony. Mind, 104, 393–411. CrossRef
- Fricker, E. (2006). Second-hand knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 2006, LXXIII, (3).
- Grice, P. (1969). Utterer's meaning and intentions. The Philosophical Review, 78, 147–177. CrossRef
- Grice, P. (1989). Studies in the ways of words. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
- Hawthorne, J. (2004). Knowledge and lotteries. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Koethe, J. (2009). Knowledge and the norms of assertion. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 87(4), 625–638. CrossRef
- Kvanvig, J. L. (2003). The value of knowledge and the pursuit of understanding. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Kvanvig, J. (2009). Assertion, knowledge, and lotteries. In P. Duncan & P. Greenough (Eds.), Williamson on knowledge (pp. 140–160). Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRef
- Lackey, J. (2007). Norms of assertion. Noûs, 41(2007), 594–626. CrossRef
- Lackey, J. (2010). Assertion and isolated secondhand knowledge, forthcoming in Jessica Brown and Herman Cappelen (Eds.), Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Lehrer, K. (2006). Testimony and trustworthiness. In J. Lackey & E. Sosa (Eds.), The epistemology of testimony (pp. 145–159). Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRef
- Lipton, P. (1998). The epistemology of testimony. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 29, 1–31. CrossRef
- Lyons, J. (1997). Testimony, induction and folk psychology. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 75, 163–178. CrossRef
- MacFarlane, J. (2011). What is assertion. In J. Brown & H. Cappelen (Eds.), Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- McDowell, J. (1994). Knowledge by hearsay. In B. K. Matilal & A. Chakrabarti (Eds.), Knowing from words: Western and Indian Philosophical analysis of understanding and testimony (pp. 195–224). Dordrecht: Kluwer.
- Milne, P. (2010). The knowledge norm of assertion: a defence against some recent criticisms. (manuscript).
- Pritchard, D. (2010). The nature and value of knowledge: three investigations (with Adrian Haddock and Alan Millar). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Reynolds, S. L. (2002). Testimony, knowledge and epistemic goals. Philosophical Studies, 110(2), 139–161.
- Shieber, J. (2009). Epistemological contextualism and the knowledge account of assertion. Philosophia, 37, 169–181. CrossRef
- Stanley, J. (2005). Knowledge and practical interests. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Stanley, J. (2008). Knowledge and certainty. Philosophical Issues, 18, 35–57.
- Thomson, J. J. (2008). Normativity, Vol. 22 of the Paul Carus Lectures, Open Court, Chicago and La Salle, IL.
- Unger, P. (1975). Ignorance: a case for skepticism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Van Cleve, J. (2006). Reid on the credit of human testimony. In J. Lackey & E. Sosa (Eds.), The epistemology of testimony (pp. 50–74). Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRef
- Weiner, M. (2005). Must we know what we say? (Penultimate draft: The Philosophical Review).
- Welbourne, M. (2001). Knowledge. Durham: Acumen Press.
- Williamson, T. (1996). Knowing and asserting. The Philosophical Review, 105, 489–523. CrossRef
- Williamson, T. (2000). Knowledge and its limits. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Norms of Assertion: The Quantity and Quality of Epistemic Support
Volume 39, Issue 4 , pp 615-635
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links