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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter gives a presentation and a justification of the indicativity account of assertion, originally proposed in Pagin (2011). This account is entirely nonnormative. Neither the existence of norms nor the existence of normative attitudes is required. Assertion is explained in terms of credence-related dispositions to utter linguistic expressions and credence-related dispositions to react to such utterances. The view can be briefly summarized as follows: An assertion is an utterance that is prima facie informative. For an utterance to be informative is for it to be uttered partly because it is true. What this amounts to is spelled out differently for the speaker and for the hearer. Simplified, it amounts to the following: the speaker makes the utterance partly because of believing the proposition expressed, and the hearer believes the proposition because of the utterance. Details and qualifications are provided. The two final sections are devoted to empirical support from psychology, especially the so-called truth bias.

Keywords: assertion, assertoric, utterance, information, informativeness, credence, Bayesian update, truth bias

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