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AssertionNew Philosophical Essays$
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Jessica Brown and Herman Cappelen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199573004

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199573004.001.0001

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Against Assertion *

Against Assertion *

(p.21) 2 Against Assertion*

Herman Cappelen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter surveys various ways to divide sayings (of declaratives) into those that are assertions and those that are not. It concludes that the project might be misconstrued. There are many equally good ways of doing it. We might be better off, the chapter suggests, sticking with only sayings, and variable norms, causes, effects and commitments. No additional theoretical or explanatory work is done by singling out one subset of these sayings as ‘assertions’. A complete theory of linguistic behavior, the chapter proposes, will not need the category of assertion – all we will need are sayings plus contextually variable norms, commitments, causes and effects.

Keywords:   assertion, declarative, speech act, saying, norm, sentence, language

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