Assurance: An Austinian view of Knowledge and Knowledge by Krista Lawlor

By Krista Lawlor

Claiming to understand is greater than creating a file approximately one's epistemic place: one additionally bargains one's coverage to others. what's an coverage? during this publication, Krista Lawlor unites J. L. Austin's insights concerning the pragmatics of assurance-giving and the semantics of data claims right into a systematic complete. The vital topic within the Austinian view is that of reasonableness: attract a 'reasonable individual' common makes the perform of assurance-giving attainable, and shall we our wisdom claims be precise regardless of modifications in functional pursuits and war of words between audio system and hearers. Lawlor presents an unique account of ways the Austinian view addresses a couple of problems for contextualist semantic theories, resolves closure-based skeptical paradoxes, and is helping us to tread the road among acknowledging our fallibility and skepticism.

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One has no idea what sorts of doubts all of humanity—or even all the members of an indeterminate and quite extensive subgroup of humanity—might have. It’s a good question how one could think that one is in a position to take on the commitments associated with assurance. If this is what accepting an assurance requires of one, why would one ever be willing to do so? Austin’s emphasis on the ‘unlimited’ nature of the guarantee in assurance has again left us with a puzzle, this time about our acceptance of assurances.

Now we can be clearer about a few things about knowledge claims in particular. First, Austin is not committed to the view that an assurance in the form of ‘I know p,’ in being a speech act, fails to be true or false. Quite the contrary: speech acts can of course express true claims. Second, Austin is not committed to the view that one’s claim to know that p can be true despite one’s not believing that p. That is, Austin is not committed to rejecting a belief condition on knowledge. Keith Lehrer has charged that Austin must hold this view: ‘ .

Once one gets in the business of offering exclusionary reasons, one has let oneself in for quite a lot, in terms of both the nature and extent of one’s commitments. It’s a good question how on earth we think we can meet these obligations. Following Austin’s suggestions, our puzzle about assurance has transformed—it is not puzzling what distinctive interest is served by assurance, but how one summons the courage ever to try to serve it. If we construe assurance giving as Austin encourages us to do, in terms of offering and accepting an ‘unlimited’ guarantee, it is a good question how a rational non-dogmatic person can ever think she is in a position to give an assurance.

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