Skip to main content Accessibility help


  • Kevin Reuter and Peter Brössel


Assertions are the centre of gravity in social epistemology. They are the vehicles we use to exchange information within scientific groups and society as a whole. It is therefore essential to determine under which conditions we are permitted to make an assertion. In this paper we argue and provide empirical evidence for the view that the norm of assertion is justified belief: truth or even knowledge are not required. Our results challenge the knowledge account advocated by, e.g. Williamson (1996), in general, and more specifically, put into question several studies conducted by Turri (2013, 2016) that support a knowledge norm of assertion. Instead, the justified belief account championed by, e.g. Douven (2006), seems to prevail.


Corresponding author


Hide All
Ben-Yami, H., Ben-Yami, M. and Ben-Yami, J. 2015. ‘The False Belief Task Reconsidered.’ Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development, 160.
Del Pinal, G. and Reuter, K. 2016. ‘Social Role Concepts, Commitments, and the Normative Dimension of Conceptual Representation.’ Cognitive Science, 41: 477501.
Douven, I. 2006. ‘Assertion, Knowledge, and Rational Credibility.’ Philosophical Review, 115: 449–85.
Gerken, M. 2013. ‘Epistemic Focal Bias.’ Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 91(1): 4161.
Gerken, M. 2017. On Folk Epistemology: How We Think and Talk About Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gettier, E. 1963. ‘Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?Analysis, 23: 121–23.
Goldberg, S. 2015. Assertion: On the Philosophical Significance of Assertoric Speech. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kneer, M. Forthcoming. ‘Norms of Assertion: Empirical Data.’ Cognition.
Kvanvig, J. 2011. ‘Norms of Assertion.’ In Brown, J. and Cappelen, H. (eds), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays, pp. 233–50. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lackey, J. 2007. ‘Norms of Assertion.’ Noûs, 41: 594626.
Machery, E., Mallon, R., Nichols, S. and Stich, S. 2013. ‘If Intuitions Vary, Then What?Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 86: 618–35.
Maitra, I. 2011. ‘Assertion, Norms, and Games.’ In Brown, J. and Cappelen, H. (eds), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays, pp. 277–96. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Marsili, N. and Wiegmann, A. Ms. ‘Should I Say That? An Experimental Investigation into the Norm of Assertion.’
McKinnon, R. 2015. The Norms of Assertion: Truth, Lies, and Warrant. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Nagel, J., San Juan, V. and Mar, R. 2013. ‘Lay Denial of Knowledge for Justified True Beliefs.’ Cognition, 129: 652–61.
Pagin, P. 2015. ‘Assertion.’ In Zalta, E. N. (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,
Pagin, P. 2016. ‘Problems with Norms of Assertion.’ Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 93(1): 178207.
Perner, J., Leekam, S. R. and Wimmer, H. 1987. ‘Three Year Olds’ Difficulty With False Belief: The Case for a Conceptual Deficit.’ British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 5(2): 125–37.
Turri, J. 2013. ‘The Test of Truth: An Experimental Investigation of the Norm of Assertion.’ Cognition, 129: 279–91.
Turri, J. 2014. ‘Knowledge and Suberogatory Assertion.’ Philosophical Studies, 167: 557–67.
Turri, J. 2015. ‘Knowledge and the Norm of Assertion: A Simple Test.’ Synthese, 192(2): 385–92.
Turri, J. 2016. Knowledge and the Norm of Assertion: An Essay in Philosophical Science. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers.
Turri, J. 2017. ‘The Distinctive “Should” of Assertability.’ Philosophical Psychology, 30(4): 477–85.
Turri, J. and Buckwalter, W. Forthcoming. ‘Descartes's Schism, Locke's Reunion: Completing the Pragmatic Turn in Epistemology.’ American Philosophical Quarterly.
Williamson, T. 1996. ‘Knowing and Asserting.’ Philosophical Review, 105: 489523.
Williamson, T. 2000. Knowledge and Its Limits. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Zollman, K. 2015. ‘Modeling the Social Consequences of Testimonial Norms.’ Philosophical Studies, 172(9): 2371–83.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO


  • Kevin Reuter and Peter Brössel


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.