Philosophical Studies

, Volume 167, Issue 3, pp 557–567 | Cite as

Knowledge and suberogatory assertion

  • John TurriEmail author


I accomplish two things in this paper. First I expose some important limitations of the contemporary literature on the norms of assertion and in the process illuminate a host of new directions and forms that an account of assertional norms might take. Second I leverage those insights to suggest a new account of the relationship between knowledge and assertion, which arguably outperforms the standard knowledge account.


Knowledge Assertion Norms Suberogation Rules 



For helpful feedback and conversation, I thank an anonymous referee for Philosophical Studies, Matt Benton, Mathieu Doucet, Tim Kenyon, Patricia Marino, Rachel McKinnon, Ernest Sosa, and Angelo Turri. Thanks also to audiences at Ryerson University, the 2012 Congress of the Canadian Philosophical Association, and the 2012 Orange Beach Epistemology Workshop. This research was kindly supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the British Academy, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Character Project at Wake Forest University and the John Templeton Foundation (neither of which necessarily endorses any opinion expressed here), and an Ontario Early Researcher Award.


  1. Bach, K. (2008). Applying pragmatics to epistemology. Philosophical Issues, 18, 68–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bach, K., & Harnish, R. M. (1979). Linguistic communication and speech acts. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. Benton, M. (2011). Two more for the knowledge account of assertion. Analysis. doi: 10.1093/analys/anr085.
  4. Benton, M. (2013). Dubious objections from iterated conjunctions. Philosophical Studies, 162(2), 355–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brandom, R. (1994). Making it explicit. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Buckwalter, W. (2013). Factive verbs and protagonist projection (under review).Google Scholar
  7. Buckwalter, W, & Turri, J. (2013). In the thick of moral motivation (under review).Google Scholar
  8. Buckwalter, W., David, R., & Turri, J. (2013). Belief through thick and thin (under review).Google Scholar
  9. Chisholm, R. (1963). Supererogation and offence: A conceptual scheme for ethics. Ratio, 5(1), 1–14.Google Scholar
  10. DeRose, K. (2002). Assertion, knowledge, and context. Philosophical Review, 111(2), 167–203.Google Scholar
  11. Douven, I. (2006). Assertion, knowledge, and rational credibility. Philosophical Review, 115(4), 449–485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Driver, J. (1992). The suberogatory. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 70(3), 286–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hawthorne, J. (2004). Knowledge and lotteries. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hazlett, A. (2010). The myth of factive verbs. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 80(3), 497–522.Google Scholar
  15. Hetherington, S. (1998). Actually knowing. The Philosophical Quarterly, 48(193), 453–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hetherington, S. (1999). Knowing failably. The Journal of Philosophy, 96(11), 565–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hill, C. S., & Schechter, J. (2007). Hawthorne’s lottery puzzle and the nature of belief. Philosophical Issues, 17, 102–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kvanvig, J. L. (2009). Assertion, knowledge, and lotteries. In D. Pritchard & P. Greenough (Eds.), Williamson on knowledge (pp. 140–160). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Lackey, J. (2007). Norms of assertion. Noûs, 41(4), 594–626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McKinnon, R., & Turri, J. (2013). Irksome assertions. Philosophical Studies (Forthcoming).Google Scholar
  21. Pelling, C. (2011). A self-referential paradox for the truth account of assertion. Analysis. doi: 10.1093/analys/anr093.
  22. Pelling, C. (2012). Paradox and the knowledge account of assertion. Erkenntnis. doi: 10.1007/s10670-012-9360-0.
  23. Rescorla, M. (2009). Assertion and its constitutive norms. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 79(1), 98–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sosa, D. (2009). Dubious assertions. Philosophical Studies, 146(2), 269–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Stanley, J. (2008). Knowledge and certainty. Philosophical Issues, 18, 33–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Starmans, C., & Friedman, O. (2012). The folk conception of knowledge. Cognition, 124(3), 272–283.Google Scholar
  27. Turri, J. (2010a). Epistemic invariantism and speech act contextualism. Philosophical Review, 119(1), 77–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Turri, J. (2010b). Prompting challenges. Analysis, 70(3), 456–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Turri, J. (2011a). The express knowledge account of assertion. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 89(1), 37–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Turri, J. (2011b). Promises to keep: Speech acts and the value of reflective knowledge. Logos & Episteme, 2(3), 583–590.Google Scholar
  31. Turri, J. (2011c). Mythology of the factive. Logos & Episteme, 2(1), 143–152.Google Scholar
  32. Turri, J. (2011d). Manifest failure: The gettier problem solved. Philosophers’ Imprint, 11(8), 1–11.Google Scholar
  33. Turri, J. (2011e). Contingent a priori knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 83(2), 327–344.Google Scholar
  34. Turri, J. (2012a). Pyrrhonian skepticism meets speech–act theory. International Journal for the Study of Skepticism, 2, 83–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Turri, J. (2012b). Is knowledge justified true belief? Synthese, 184(3), 247–259.Google Scholar
  36. Turri, J. (2012c). Preempting paradox. Logos & Episteme, 3(4), 659–662.Google Scholar
  37. Turri, J. (2013a). You gotta believe. In C. Littlejohn & J. Turri (Eds.), Epistemic norms. Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  38. Turri, J. (2013b). A conspicuous art: Putting gettier to the test. Philosophers’ Imprint (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  39. Turri, J. (2013c). Linguistic intuitions in context: A defense of nonskeptical pure invariantism.” In A. Booth & D. Rowbottom (Eds.), Intuitions. Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  40. Turri, J. (2013d). Knowledge as achievement, more or less. In M. F. Vargas (Ed.), The present and future of virtue epistemology (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  41. Turri, J. (2013e). The test of truth: an experimental investigation of the norm of assertion (under review).Google Scholar
  42. Turri, J. (2013f). Sustaining rules: A model and application (under review).Google Scholar
  43. Turri, J, & Friedman, O. (2013) Winners and losers in the folk epistemology of lotteries. In J. Beebe (Ed.), Advances in experimental epistemology. London: Continuum (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  44. Unger, P. (1975). Ignorance: A case for skepticism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Weatherson, B. (2003). What good are counterexamples? Philosophical Studies, 11(1), 1–31.Google Scholar
  46. Weiner, M. (2005). Must we know what we say? Philosophical Review, 114(2), 227–251.Google Scholar
  47. Williamson, T. (1996). Knowing and asserting. Philosophical Review, 105(4), 489–523.Google Scholar
  48. Williamson, T. (2000). Knowledge and its limits. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

Personalised recommendations