The Knowledge Norm of Assertion: Debates and Criticisms

Wei Tian, Cunxian Xie


Both in philosophy of science and philosophy of language, there exists a long-time debate on the knowledge norm of assertion. Recently, the focus of the discussion has been shifted from the necessity claim to the sufficiency claim. People who hold the view of “Isolated second-hand knowledge” challenge the sufficiency claim based on several counterexamples. They contend that a speaker’s assertion based solely on second-hand knowledge is epistemically inappropriate. This perspective has ignited a more profound debate between advocates and critics of the knowledge norm of assertion. What factors actually determine the appropriateness of an assertion? Aiming at the question, the present study puts forward an idea that the appropriateness of an assertion is influenced by hearer’s conceptual saturation of the speaker rather than the isolated second-hand knowledge.

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