Semantics

Assertion (Palgrave Studies in Pragmatics, Language and by M. Jary

By M. Jary

Statement is a time period usually utilized in linguistics and philosophy yet infrequently outlined. This in-depth learn surveys and synthesizes various philosophical, linguistic and mental literature at the subject, after which offers an in depth account of the cognitive tactics all in favour of the translation of assertions.

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Sample text

It may well be that, armed with the concepts of belief and assertion, we can devise an accurate model of communication according to which assertions derive their meaning from beliefs that they express. Thus, as long as philosophical questions of conceptual priority are kept apart from empirical questions about the cognitive processes involved in utterance interpretation, there is no conflict between the view that the notion of assertion is conceptually prior to the notion of belief, and the view that assertoric utterances derive their content from the beliefs they express.

For some, most notably Grice, assertion is to be analysed as being characterised by the intention that the hearer should come to think that the speaker believes that P, there often being an ulterior intention to the effect that the hearer should also come to believe that P himself (1989: 123). com - licensed to Universitetsbiblioteket i Tromso - PalgraveConnect - 2011-04-20 38 as we saw in Chapter 2, by Bach and Harnish (1979), although the latter see the intention that the hearer believe that P as a primary, not ulterior, assertoric intention.

The preceding discussion has brought us to step 4 of Dummett’s argument for the priority of belief over assertion. We must now ask which practice best exemplifies treating as true. As we have just seen, to treat a sentence as true is, on Dummett’s account, to grasp its practical and inferential consequences. What behaviour would count as evidence of grasping these? While other forms of behaviour might demonstrate a grasp of some of the practical consequences of treating a sentence as true, many, perhaps most, of its inferential consequences can only be demonstrated by asserting (or assenting to assertions of) those consequences and denying those statements which are not consequences.

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