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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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Putting the Norm of Assertion to Work: The Case of Testimony *

Putting the Norm of Assertion to Work: The Case of Testimony *

(p.175) 8 Putting the Norm of Assertion to Work: The Case of Testimony*

Sanford Goldberg

Oxford University Press

In this chapter argues that the norm of assertion can be used to give an account of two features of the testimonial exchange, pertaining to the epistemic entitlements and responsibilities of parties to such an exchange. Accounting for these features in terms of the norm of assertion has two selling points: in doing so we make do with claims we need anyway, independent of issues of testimony, and in this sense have an account that is simpler than its rivals; and we can be neutral with respect to the two topics standardly addressed in connection with the epistemology of testimony, and so have an account that is ideologically less costly than rival accounts (which are not neutral in this way). The chapter also argues that the rival accounts themselves face serious difficulties. It is thus time to put the norm of assertion to work.

Keywords:   norm of assertion, testimony, testimonial exchange

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