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Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the relationship between assertion and lying, focusing on how lying can be accounted for by theories of assertion that treat assertion as a fundamental notion conceptually prior to belief. Such theories cannot simply define lying as asserting without the requisite belief, nor as treating as true something which one believes to be false. The chapter begins by asking why one proponent of such a theory, Michael Dummett, ties the ability to assert so tightly to the ability to lie. It then goes on to consider how lying should be explained in Robert Brandom’s score-keeping approach to assertion. It concludes by relating the view of assertion and lying developed by these authors to work on the development of children’s sensitivity to lying.

Keywords: assertion, lying, belief, Dummett, Brandom, declarative mood, Theory of mind

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