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By Mark Jary (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230274617

ISBN-13: 9780230274617

ISBN-10: 1349365033

ISBN-13: 9781349365036

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Example text

The question to be considered in that section is whether we should then see the interpretation of assertions as necessarily involving belief attribution on the part of the hearer. It is not obvious that this is the case. It is possible that assertions are caused by and express beliefs, but that belief attribution is not required for their interpretation. It is certainly the case that some forms of animal communication have these characteristics. For example, the vervet monkey’s alarm call (Seyfarth et al.

E. the consequences of accepting it. Here ‘consequences’ must be taken to include both the inferential powers of the statement and anything that counts as acting on the truth of the statement. (Dummett 1981: 453). The conditions under which you are justified in making an assertion are those which make the assertion true. The consequences are both practical and inferential. For example, if you assert that the beer is in the fridge, then you are committed to going to get the beer from the fridge if properly ordered to fetch it.

Judging an assertion true entails taking on commitments and entitlements, and an understanding of this is all there is to an understanding of the notion of truth, according to Brandom. Hence he is a deflationist about truth, in that he thinks the notion can be explained in terms of prior notions of judgement, commitment and entitlement (1994: ch. 19 This is not to say, though, that he is a relativist about truth: there is, for Brandom, an objective fact of the matter. Essentially, his view is that our ability to challenge the commitments undertaken by others is restricted by how the world is.

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Assertion by Mark Jary (auth.)


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