Assertion and the Varieties of Norms

Paolo Labinaz

Abstract


This paper challenges Cappelen’s claim that the speech act category of assertion is to be discarded since there is no principled way to distinguish between utterances that are assertions and those that are not. Using an Austin-inspired framework, I will argue that, in opposition to his claim, there are some norms that can be seen to apply to assertion in a more intimate way than others, and these norms can be shown to be constitutive of it, since it is by means of them that we can account for specific defects pertaining to the making of an assertion, which the reliance on contextually variable norms (such as the conversational maxims of Grice to which he refers) does not seem able to do.


Keywords


assertion; norms of assertion; conversational maxims; speech act theory; J.L. Austin

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/Phe_Mi-21110


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