Northwestern University

Fri 11:00 AM

PhLing Talk: J.J. Lang (Stanford)

When: Friday, April 26, 2019
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM  

Where: Kresge Hall, 3-410, 1880 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Zachary Paitsel  

Group: PhLing Workgroup

Category: Academic


Title: What is the Differene between Telling and Asserting?

Abstract: Recent philosophers have emphasized the epistemic and ethical dimensions of the speech act of 'telling' which involves something like an invitation to trust the speaker (Hinchman) or a promissory guarantee about what is said (Moran). These views stand in contrast to a theory where telling is not significantly different than asserting -- perhaps it is asserting while reasonably hoping one's assertion will be taken at the speaking word. Hinchman and Moran motivate the significant distinction between telling and asserting, then, by contrasting telling from a minimal view of assertion. I will argue that the picture of assertion both Hinchman and Moran have in mind is too minimal, and that Hinchman's arguments in favor of viewing telling as a distinct speech act from telling double as an argument in favor of viewing a significant class of assertions (namely: assertions directed to a particular addressee) as a distinct speech act from assertion. This point is not meant to be a taxonomical one about what speech act deserves the name 'assertion'. Rather, I will argue, once we accept that assertion is not as minimal as Hinchman and Moran assume, there is no longer a need to explain telling in terms as robust as those Moran and Hinchman favor.

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