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IgnoranceA Case for Scepticism$
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Peter Unger

Print publication date: 1978

Print ISBN-13: 9780198244172

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198244177.001.0001

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Where Ignorance Enjoins Silence

Where Ignorance Enjoins Silence

Chapter:
(p.250) VI Where Ignorance Enjoins Silence
Source:
Ignorance
Author(s):

Peter Unger (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198244177.003.0007

Argues that if someone asserts that something is so, this entails that he or she represents himself or herself as knowing that it is so. This hypothesis is supported by consideration of a modified version of Moore's Paradox, and by observation of conversational situations. A prima facie case is made for the claim that the hypothesis can be generalized for what J. L. Austin has called “illocutionary acts” (for instance, apologizing, commanding, questioning, etc.): whenever a subject performs such an act, it represents itself as knowing something.

Keywords:   assertion, J. L. Austin, conversation, illocutionary acts, knowledge, Moore's Paradox

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