Philosophical Investigations

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Volume 42 Issue 4 (October 2019), Pages 311-427

Making Sense of the Role of Assertions (pages 396-418)

Abstract Much of the literature on speech acts and semantics assigns a type of theoretical priority to assertions; many philosophers assume, as Robert Brandom has put it, that assertion is the fundamental speech act. Others take a more pluralistic approach, with many categories interwoven as peers, and no one category as fundamental. I suggest there is a way to embrace a pluralistic approach and explain the importance of assertions without making them fundamental. Their role instead becomes one of supporting connections between other categories, and surprisingly, turns on their unusually broad but very thin pragmatic character.

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