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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter defends the view that research about language and communication should not appeal to anything that falls under the label “assertion.” According to the No-Assertion view (Cappelen 2011), what philosophers have tried to capture by the term “assertion” is largely a philosopher’s invention. It fails to pick out an act type that we engage in, and it is not a category we need in order to explain any important component of our linguistic practice. The phenomena that theories of assertion aim to explain are better accounted for by appeal to the notion of what is said. Sayings are governed by variable norms, come with variable commitments, and have variable causes and effects. This chapter outlines the No-Assertion view, presents some of the core arguments in favor of it, and responds to some criticisms.

Keywords: assertion, norms, commitments, causes, Cappelen

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