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Moorean Paradoxes, Assertion, and Certainty

Esben Nedenskov Petersen


While Moorean paradoxes with ‘know’ and epistemic ‘certain’ are distinct, sentences of both types are infelicitous to assert. Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson both purport to explain these data based on their respective accounts of epistemically appropriate assertion. Stanley claims that his Epistemic Certainty Norm of Assertion provides a unified account of the observed infelicity, while Williamson explains it by supplementing the Knowledge Norm of Assertion with further assumptions about the relation between knowledge and certainty. In this paper, I argue that neither of these explanations succeeds. I then suggest that a unified account of Moorean paradoxes with ‘know’ and epistemic ‘certain’ may be provided by modifying Stanley’s Epistemic Certainty Norm.

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