Normativity of Assertion

Ladislav Koreň



My aim in this study is to explain both motivation and main ideas of those philosophical accounts of assertion that take it to be a normative phenomenon. I first draw a map of key ideas pertaining to the problem and localize on it typical normative accounts. Then I take up the issue of what it means to say that assertion is a normative phenomenon, putting forward a speculative-hypothetical reconstruction of the genesis of the assertoric game - or, rather, its protoform - to bring to the fore social-normative aspects characteristic of it. This will provide the basis for a critical comparison of two representative normative approaches to assertion: pragmatic inferentialism of Robert Brandom, and Knowledge Account of Assertion of Timothy Williamson. I shall argue that Brandom's normative approach to assertion is superior, as it much better accounts for a social dimension of assertion that is essential to this language game.


assertion; norms; inferentialism; knowledge

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TEORIE VĚDY / THEORY OF SCIENCE – journal for interdisciplinary studies of science is published twice a year by the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Centre for Science, Technology, and Society Studies). ISSN 1210-0250 (Print) ISSN 1804-6347 (Online) MK ČR E 18677 web: /// email: