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date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

How can we tell whether someone has made an assertion? In many cases, the answer is obvious. But often, it is not. In this chapter, the author argues that a theory-independent test for assertion is not possible. This means that as theoreticians, we have some freedom regarding our answer to the question. This freedom is not unlimited, though. Intuitions about clear cases should be respected, and the answer should be shown to be theoretically fruitful. The author defends the view that an assertion is the expression of belief. In the last section, this view is applied to utterances made in controversial philosophical settings.

Keywords: assertion, norm of assertion, knowledge, assertive, speech acts

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